Rethinking the Gendered Viking

By Alexis C. Madrigal

Anyone who knows the big myth of the Vikings knows that those guys rampaged through northern Europe raping women and plundering towns. But, as Deb Chachra points out at HiLoBrow, perhaps it's time to rethink the all-male Viking crew. 

No, seriously. A new paper in the journal Medieval History looked at the bones of Vikings buried with weapons in 9th-century England and came back with a surprising result: of the 14 bodies, six of them were female.

"So, does this mean that Viking women were as badass as their male compatriots?" Chachra asks. "Or does it mean that Vikings were more colonization-minded than they're given credit for?"

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised if it turns out that Viking women were warriors, too. I mean, remember the Valkyries?

Via Clive Thompson.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/07/rethinking-the-gendered-viking/242548/