Invasion of the Viking Women!

Recent analysis of Viking excavations has brought to light the role of women in what has been historical viewed a male focused culture. The image of the stay-at-home Viking wife and mother has been struck down by recent analysis of Viking archaeological sites across Europe.

 “An increase in the number of finds of Norse-style jewellery in the last two decades has led some scholars to suggest a larger number of female settlers. Indeed, it has been noted that there are more Norse female dress items than those worn by men,” says the study.

It is an interesting change-up of demographic concepts. It appears that Viking women accompanied their men-folk (at the least in post-conquest moves) to new regions, building homes, and furthering the Viking way of life.

To learn more about these recent discoveries, read this article in USA Today.

4 thoughts on “Invasion of the Viking Women!

  1. norm

    A study of dental isotopes that I looked at a few years ago was of the mind that male Norse settlers in England tended to have wives from different places from where the men were raised. The argument was that the wives were stolen from somewhere and taken to live as wives in England. As I recall, the number was 3 in 4 wives did not have the same regional dental isotopes as their husbands.

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      It’s interesting that they mention the isotope analysis in the article, but not comparatively to the male remains. The only thing that they say for certain is that the women are of Norse origin (a vague and broad outline) and are *not* English. The cultural and stylistic remains, however, suggest that the women living there had wholly adopted Viking culture – not a ‘creolized’ or other type of hybridized style (common when women are taken from abroad are married in a new region).
      Still, this is a limited study (only 14 burials). Still, it supports the notion that they brought women with them, rather than taking new wives in England – which is different than the original assumptions that the men came to England and claimed brides in he new region.

  2. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    Of course you knew I would love this story! I have a collection of Norse myths that are really quite stridently, what we today would call, feminist. I will have to find it and add the name of the collection to this post.


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