Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Female warrior in Birka Chamber grave

2017-09-18

The skeleton in the Birka chamber grave Bj581 contained rich grave goods with swords and arrowheads. For long, the skeleton was thought to have been male. Now we think differently. 

In a paper published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology a new research project directed by the department's researcher Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson that the skeleton was female. The burial in question is one of the most well-equipped in Birka and the Viking world, and would have belonged to a military leader. Horses, weapons and a gaming board with gamining pieces accompanied the dead woman into her grave.

Read the article here (open access) American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Read the background material about Birka and the research project

Read more about Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson's research

Link  to SVT Vetenskap with text in Swedish