How the female Viking warrior was written out of history
What Bj 581, the “Female Viking Warrior” tells us about assumed gender roles in archaeological inquiry.
While the popular story has been about a female warrior, the real story that underlies this study are the assumptions the researchers just blew out of the water. Hedenstierna-Jonson et al. do not equivocate in their statements that, for over a century, this individual was mis-identified as male because archaeologists, acculturated in a western society with strictly defined gender roles, view men alone as warriors, or soldiers, or wielders of violence. A warrior, like warfare itself, is a cultural construct, practices and professions created by human societies to fulfill specific desires. To assume uncritically that men alone are warriors leads to a cascade of other assumptions about human behaviors that renders our attempt to understand those behaviors somewhat moot.