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"A real-life Viking version of Brienne of Tarth?" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2020 9:52 p.m. PST

"Over one hundred years ago, Swedish archaeologist Hjalmar Stolpe excavated a series of Viking graves near an ancient settlement called Birka. Because the graves were filled with items like swords and helmets, Stolpe (along with generations of archaeologists, researchers and historians since) assumed that all of the occupants were male Viking warriors. They were wrong. It turns out that one of the most spectacular of the Birka graves belongs to a woman.

Osteology and DNA tests have confirmed that a female was interred alongside her male counterparts, and the richness of her grave furnishings suggest she was an important military leader. The findings were recently published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Said Uppsala University archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson: "It's actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall too, measuring around 170 centimetres." That height translates to roughly 5′ 6," which would have made her equal to the average man in that area at that time…"
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BillyNM23 Mar 2020 11:20 p.m. PST

Annoyingly there's no information on how the other graves were laid out or whether any of them showed signs on the bones of muscular development consistent with being a warrior, let alone any signs of old battle injuries. I was struck by the reconstructed drawing that made it look like she was sitting, waiting? Is there any evidence of what Vikings did when a leader failed to return from going a Viking?

dapeters24 Mar 2020 6:58 a.m. PST

Didn't we discuss this like two three years ago? The problem is that there is no information on the body. If she had been a warrior she would have injuries and evidence of broken bones particularly on her hands and arms. Now that a couple years have gone by one does not hear anything about this "find."

bsrlee24 Mar 2020 7:46 a.m. PST

One major problem is that the excavation occurred before a lot of modern archeological techniques were fully developed, so a lot of evidence has been lost.

I have looked for details of the chests that allegedly were found lining the walls of the main building in the 'Garrison' area which was burnt down – found nothing. The only chest fittings from Birka seem to be from regular individual burials in cemetery areas not buildings.

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