Viking shield maidens have formed part of the fantasies of that era for many years, but they couldn’t be real, could they?

 
 
 
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Well, a recent archaeological discovery seems to suggest they may well be.

According to research in the University of western Australia, many skeletons that had previously been identified as male just because they had been buried with weapons, were in fact women! Sources USA Todayonlinelibrary.wiley.com / www.tor.com
After examining the bones in detail the researchers found that approximately half the warriors were female and given a full Viking burial as warriors along with their weapons.

The study says, “There is some archaeological evidence for early Norse female settlement, most obviously oval brooches, but this evidence is minimal.

The more difficult to date evidence of place names, personal names, and DNA samples derived from the modern population suggests that Norse women did migrate to England at some stage, but probably in far fewer numbers than Norse men”

Shane McLeod of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Western Australia noted that recently, burials of female Norse immigrants have started to turn up in Eastern England.

“An increase in the number of finds of Norse-style jewellery in the last two decades has led some scholars to suggest a larger number of female settlers.

Indeed, it has been noted that there are more Norse female dress items than those worn by men,” says the study.

The presence of female warriors at such numbers also has researchers wondering just how accurate the stereotypes of raping and pillaging actually are:

Women may have accompanied male Vikings in those early invasions of England, in much greater numbers than scholars earlier supposed, (Researcher) McLeod concludes. Rather than the ravaging rovers of legend, the Vikings arrived as marriage-minded colonists.