Last week, we have taken a brief look at the Viking Birka town that once was the important Viking trading region as well as the political center. But when the Vikings realized that Birka could not protect them away from the enemies, they started abandoning Birka. In modern times, Birka becomes a part of archaeological research. There are thousands of Viking and non-Viking graves lying beneath Birka. One of the most famous Viking graves in Birka is the Viking Birka BJ581.
What made the BJ581 an interesting topic to discuss is because it belonged to a Viking shieldmaiden. We only see scenes of Viking women fighting on the shows. No one could believe that a woman could shoot an arrow, wield the axe and the sword, especially in the Medieval Age. Back to the Viking Age, when a male warrior died a warrior death, he would be buried in a grave full of weapons. We can call it Viking Grave Goods. It was a way to represent how the Vikings honored the deceased and hope the deceased could continue living the same life in their afterlife.
Birka BJ581 was an exception because it belonged to the Viking women. This once excited the archaeologists to the core. Because this news made them rethink the historical appearance of the Viking shieldmaiden.
For 128 years, the skeletons inside BJ581 was believed to belong to a Viking man. Until studies around the 1970s revealed that the skeletons belonged to a Viking female.
Below are some photos of the Viking BJ581: