- Nov 2018
I agree with you that the proof beyond doubt for female women warriors were; if the archaeologists found female skeletons with the following characteristics; stress fractures at the forearm because they have been fighting with swords since their childhood as the men did.As to Viking or Dark Age female warriors, we can not be sure until some female skeleton in unearthed bearing unmistakeable signs of weapon trauma. As far as I am aware, no such evidence has been found.
Shoulder calcification after fighting with spear and shield, hip / thigh deformation or other musculoskeletal markers caused by riding, repeated healed injuries after battle, and fighting gear as grave goods.
Perhaps a coroner can see if fatal injuries are averting injuries or regular combat damage?
The problem is that if there really have been shield maidens in the Viking age, they would probably be rarer than chicken teeth, and the chance to find a preserved grave would be even less.
In addition, as we have seen with the Swedish grave, the archaeologists would initially assume that it was a man in the grave. Only after genetic testing, they would observe that it was a woman.