Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blowing Apart Your Gender Norms, Viking Style

This is actually kind of old news, but remember when they found out that like half of the viking bodies buried with weapons were women?

Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided to revamp the way they studied Viking remains. Previously, researchers had misidentified skeletons as male simply because they were buried with their swords and shields. (Female remains were identified by their oval brooches, and not much else.) By studying osteological signs of gender within the bones themselves, researchers discovered that approximately half of the remains were actually female warriors, given a proper burial with their weapons.

I just fucking love that it was automatically assumed that any body buried with a weapon was a man. Now they're finding more and more evidence that women often fought alongside men and weren't trapped in the shitty gender roles we have today. We make assumptions about dead cultures based on our own modern norms, and those assumptions make their way into our history books. That's why history written by white cishet dudes is shitty!

Also be sure to check out this awesome piece, "We Have Always Fought."

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