from the Valkyries,-Amazons,...Xena? dept.
A 10th century Viking unearthed in the 1880s was like a figure from Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries: an elite warrior buried with a sword, an ax, a spear, arrows, a knife, two shields, and a pair of warhorses. [...] a new study published today in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology finds that the warrior was a woman—the first high-status female Viking warrior to be identified. Excavators first uncovered the battle-ready body among several thousand Viking graves near the Swedish town of Birka, but for 130 years, most assumed it was a man—known only by the grave identifier, Bj 581. [...] Now, the warrior's DNA proves her sex, suggesting a surprising degree of gender balance in the Vikings' violent social order.
Her name was Lagertha.
Reference: Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, et. al., A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23308