Nicole Nett

Grave Bj 581: The Viking Warrior that was a Woman


Recent DNA analysis of a Viking-age burial interpreted as that of a warrior excavated in Birka, Sweden in 1878 determined that the remains were not male as had always been assumed, but female. The burial was marked by a large boulder on a highly visible promontory. Within the underground wooden burial chamber the deceased was dressed in garments with silk and silver thread decorations, propped up in a seated position, surrounded by weapons, and framed by shields at the head and foot of the chamber. Gaming pieces were found in the lap of the deceased along with the possible remains of an iron-fitted gaming board alongside the body. Outside the burial chamber two horses bridled for riding were placed on a platform.

DNA analysis proved not only that the remains were female, but also that she was not local to the region, instead from southern Scandinavia. The archaeology shows a high-status individual suggesting close connections to the eastern part of the Viking World, but is the standing interpretation of the grave as that of a high-status warrior still valid?

  • Saturday, Mar 9, 2019
  • Location: 2301 W. River Rd., Sunwatch Indian Village, OH
  • Phone: (937) 268-8199
  • Time: 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Price: Free Event
Grave Bj 581: The Viking Warrior that was a Woman