BERLIN – Scientists say DNA tests on a skeleton found in a lavish Viking warrior’s grave in Sweden show the remains are those of a woman in her 30s.
While bone experts had long suspected the remains belong to a woman, the idea had previously been dismissed despite other accounts supporting the existence of female Viking warriors.
Swedish researchers used new methods to analyze genetic material from the 1,000-year-old bones at a Viking-era site known as Birka, near Stockholm.
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Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University said Monday the tests show “it is definitely a woman.”
Hedenstierna-Jonson said the grave is particularly well-furnished, with a sword, shields, various other weapons and horses.
Writing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the researchers say it’s the first confirmed remains of a high-ranking female Viking warrior.