Genetic testing of a skeleton discovered over a century ago has shown that women were warriors in Viking society.
A grave from the 10th century in Mika, Sweden, has been shown to be a woman, not a man as many have believed. Despite mythological and poetic accounts of women warriors in Viking society, they have often been dismissed as not being representative of Viking society.
The DNA testing showed that there was no Y chromosome, removing the possibility of the grave being occupied by a male.
Further, the items accompanying the skeleton suggest that the woman was a leader of some sort. A gaming board suggests that she was involved with military strategy.
The results were published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. In the article, the authors caution against making sweeping assumptions about the role of women in historical societies, especially based on limited Archeological data and our own societal biases.