Study: Battle-Scarred Viking Shield-Maiden Gets Facial Reconstruction

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Study: Battle-Scarred Viking Shield-Maiden Gets Facial Reconstruction
Study: Battle-Scarred Viking Shield-Maiden Gets Facial Reconstruction

Cutting edge technology has revealed that Viking women were warriors too.

By reconstructing a skull found in a Viking graveyard in Norway, British scientists have brought the face of a female warrior to life.

When scientists began to reconstruct her facial features it was discovered she had a serious head injury, consistent with a sword wound. The dent was large enough to have damaged the bone, reports The Guardian.

Her remains were previously identified as female, and despite being surrounded by weapons, archaeologists did not think she could be a warrior because she was a woman.

Whether the head wound was her cause of death is unknown, as scientific analysis revealed signs of healing around the injury.

Regardless, the discovery is “the first evidence ever found of a Viking woman with a battle injury,” according to archaeologist Ella Al-Shamahi.

Facial reconstruction technology was used to recreate the woman’s features, giving an accurate representation of what she would have looked like while alive.

“I’m so excited because this is a face which hasn’t been seen in 1000 years,” the archaeologist told The Guardian.

“She’s suddenly become really real.”

“The resulting reconstruction is never 100 percent accurate, but enough to generate recognition from someone who knew them well in real life,” said Dr Caroline Erolin, a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification.

The reconstruction also recreated the grave, showing how the vast array of weaponry was placed around her skeleton. A shield, arrows, a sword, a spear and an axe were laid inside the grave.

Some experts are resistant to the idea that Viking women could have been warriors as they would be easily overpowered by men.

Al-Shamahi debates this, saying women could have been long-distance killers. By firing arrows from horseback, she argues women could be “an equal match for men”.

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