DNA Tests Reveal 1st High-Ranking Female Viking Warrior, Scientists Say - NBC Chicago
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DNA Tests Reveal 1st High-Ranking Female Viking Warrior, Scientists Say

The grave was furnished with a sword, shields, various other weapons and horses, one researcher said

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    DNA Tests Reveal 1st High-Ranking Female Viking Warrior, Scientists Say
    Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images, File
    This January 31, 2006, file photo shows people in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, dressed as Vikings marching through the streets of Lerwick for the traditional festival of fire known as "Up Helly Aa." Swedish researchers say they've analyzed 1,000-year-old bones at a Viking warrior's grave and determined that they belonged to a woman.

    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.

    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.