Viking Women Ruled: Burial Grave Showed This
In case you miss it, Viking women had their own rights in their time. In many survival texts, Viking women were as reckless as men. Archaeological evidence also showed that Viking women held social importance in their community. In this blog post, we are to discuss three Viking graves that proved Viking women were no joke.
Viking Oseberg burial mound
By far, Viking Oseberg mound is the most Viking luxurious burial mound ever found. Of course, this means Oseberg burial mound is among the best preserved Viking burial mound.
Oseberg burial mound is found in Oseberg farm in Vestfold, Norway. It took the archaeologists about a year to bring the ship to the public eye, from 1903 to 1904. And yes, there is a ship inside the burial mound which made its name. It was a clinker built from oak. The ship was lavishly decorated with beautiful patterns which later the scholars called it the Oseberg style.
Viking Oseberg ship during its excavation
Inside the grave, archaeologists found out remains of two women, one around her 70s and the other around 40s. The older woman seemed to have endured a hard time in her last days because her bones showed that she had to encounter a disease like cancer. The younger woman, on the other hand, had a quite good life.
Inside the burial mound, archaeologists also found out many types of luxurious items including an anchor, a bucket with Buddha-like man, peacock's feather, cart, bed, horses, dogs, etc. Never have the archaeologists found out any burial that could rival the luxury level of Oseberg burial mound.
Viking Birka burial mound
Birka used to be an economically and politically important town in the Viking Age. After inhabiting for a few decades, the Vikings started to abandon this place yet they left many traces and artifacts in the site which still live on.
Viking shieldmaiden from "Vikings" TV Series
Among the graves inside Birka town, there was a grave named BJ581 belonging to a Viking woman whose identity is forever unknown. There would be nothing more to say about the burial mound if it were not for a set of weapons inside.
Viking burial mound BJ581
In BJ581, the archaeologists found out a woman was buried with a sword, an axe, a bow and arrows, and a gaming board. All of this were commonly buried with Viking men who were warriors. For example, not everyone in the Viking Age could play Viking chess game because it reflected not only intelligence but also military skills. But the BJ581 woman could. Set of weapons inside BJ581 really interested the archaeologists because it becomes archaeological evidence that the Viking women could wield axe helping prove the historical existence of Viking shieldmaiden (Viking female warrior).
Viking Fyrkat grave
In Fyrkat, the archaeologists found out a grave which they assumed to belong to a Viking volva. In Viking society, a volva was an important figure because a volva "could see things that others didn't". Simply saying, a volva was a seeress. The word " volva" means "the holder of the wand".
Inside the burial there were remains of a woman. Although the clothes she had couldn't stand the test of time, archaeologists could conclude that it was made from premium fabric dating back to the Viking Age.
In her hand, she was holding a bag full of henbane seeds. This kind of seeds was used to cause hallucination. This made the archaeologists think about the Viking berserkers who could have used a kind of drugs to enter the trance-like mood and fought as if it was their last chance to prove Odin their bravery.
Viking Fyrkat burial mound