Was This Woman The Khaleesi Of The Vikings?

Photo: Courtesy of History.
Anthropologists have confirmed that the ancient DNA of a Viking warrior was actually a woman, Discover magazine reports. We may have a real-life Khaleesi on our hands.
After researchers dug through hundreds of Viking graves, they found one with an interesting story. It had a variety of goods, including weapons and armor that led researchers to believe it was surely the grave of a highly decorated and respected warrior.
Among her grave goods (yes, that's what researchers call them) was a game board, suggesting that she was a strategist officer. While graves of other woman from the Viking era have been found, no grave of a Viking woman has been found that would suggest a higher status than this one, dubbed Bj 581. Researchers call it "exceptionally well-furnished and complete" in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and they note she was buried with "sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a battle knife, two shields, and two horses, one mare and one stallion; thus, the complete equipment of a professional warrior."
The grave in question is located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sweden. This female Viking of high standing would have been active in the 9th and 10th centuries and DNA testing cleared up not only her gender and gave researchers some idea about her heritage in the British Islands, as well as the North Atlantic Islands and Scandinavia — all locations Vikings were known to visit. The tests lead researchers to determine she was not from the region but moved there.
Anthropologists have long argued over the role of women in Viking society, and this grave site doesn't exactly clear things up. Bj 581 was found buried without any wounds that would suggest dying in battle — which is common in burial sites, as Vikings killed on the battle field would be more likely to be put into a mass grave. However, as the anthropologists on this project point out, graves with female Vikings that have been discovered with weaponry in the past has been dismissed as being the graves of partners to warriors rather than warriors themselves. Bj 581 was buried alone, with no husband or male graves nearby.
In short: she fits the pattern for a Viking warrior.

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