Explore the remains of a great Viking warrior queen as Swedish archaeologists unearth a viking mount full of archaeological treasure.
Found nearly 20 miles from Stockholm in Sweden, a small island looms in the horizon. This was the home to a town called Birka, perhaps one of the most powerful trading hubs in the Viking world around 750-950 AD.
Almost a thousand years later, Birka is the most important archaeological site of the Viking Age, as it is home to 3,000 graves – more than half of which have not been excavated.
In 1878, Swedish entomologist, archaeologist and ethnographer Hjalmar Stolpe and his team found a grave with two horses buried beneath a large block of granite. The grave was numbered Bj 581: Bj for Björkö and 581 because it was the 581st grave unearthed by the archeologist.
Inside the grave, Stolpe’s team found the remains of 206 bones that make up the human skeleton.
Furthermore, the grave contained a stockpile of medieval weapons, including a shield, a knife, a bow and arrow, a spear, an axe and a sword, all of which indicated that the grave belonged to a great warrior.
Although the assumption was the viking grave belonged to a man, careful archaeological forensic investigations showed the bones was a woman.
Interestingly enough, the items found in the viking grave also showed this wasn’t your average woman.
Normally wealthy viking women would’ve been buried with jewellery and other items to help them in the afterlife, but this viking woman was buried with real weapons of war.
The grave was also buried with a pouch containing gaming pieces and dice, and by her side, there was a gaming board, all of which are items commonly found in graves of high-ranking military commanders of that era.
But who was this viking warrior queen really and what is her story? A team of archaeologists decides to investigate.
- Release date2020
- Full runtime
- Director(s)Aleksandar Dzerdz, Gautier Dubois
- Part of the seriesSecrets of the Dead