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Hauakaubad nõuavad soolisi rolle viikingiajaloos ümber. Või teevad?

Hauakaubad nõuavad soolisi rolle viikingiajaloos ümber. Või teevad?

Norra arheoloog Marianne Moen väidab, et minevikku tõlgendatakse valesti ning Norra viikingite meeste ja naiste kultuurirollid olid sarnased. Kuid mitte kõik pole sellega nõus.

Marianne Moeni doktoritöö Oslo ülikooli arheoloogia, konserveerimise ja ajaloo osakonnas kannab pealkirja „ Väljakutseid pakkuv sugu. Sugu ümbermõtestamine viikingiajal, kasutades surnukuuri . ” Vastavalt artiklile ajakirjas Science Nordic, väidab ta, et viikingiajal ei olnud soorollid nii diferentseeritud kui arvati, ja ta ütles ajakirjanikele: "Ma arvan, et me peame viikingiajal meeste ja naiste rollide eristamisest eemalduma." .

Olles uurinud Oslo fjordi edelapoolses maakonnas Vestfoldis asuva 218 viikingite haua sisu ja leidnud esemeid „tassidest, taldrikutest hobustele ja muudele kariloomadele” „Mitte ainult koduperenaiste” haudadest, väidab Moen, et „ülemine klassi mehed ja naised maeti üldiselt sama tüüpi esemetega - sealhulgas toiduvalmistamisvahenditega ”. Ja seda tüüpi "mõtlemisest" soovitab paber, et viikingite soorollid vajavad uuesti käsitlemist.

Viikingiaja voolukivianum. Seebikivi kasutati muu hulgas kööginõude valmistamiseks. (Elinor Rajka / CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Kuid vastuoluliselt, kui Moenil on õigus, on peaaegu iga teadlane enne teda olnud kas: loll, lihtsalt vale või võib -olla vananenud arheoloogilise patriarhaadi „eksitav” liige. See peab olema üks neist. Õige? Nüüd on poksikindad seljas ja varjatud vihjed pole enam varjus, vaatame, mida öeldakse selle hiiglasliku väite kohta, mis õigeks osutumisel nõuab mitte ainult viikingite, vaid ka Norra ajaloo kohest ümberkirjutamist.

Filosoofia mõra teaduses?

Arheoloogide kogutud sajandi tõendite ümberpööramiseks, mis viitavad sellele, et viikingite naised vastutavad kodu ülalpidamise eest enamasti, samas kui meestest said põllumehed, kaupmehed ja sõdalased, peavad tõendid olema mitte ainult suured, vaid ka kuulikindlad. Teisisõnu, kas avastus, et tööriistad ja köögitarbed olid meeste ja naiste matustel võrdselt jaotatud „ühele“ katseplatsile, on tõesti käegakatsutav tõend viikingite ühiskonnas soorollide vaidlustamiseks?

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Viikinginaised sõdalastena - kas see seab kahtluse alla üldised soorollid? ( delDrago / Adobe Stock)

Moeni veendumus ilmneb tema kommentaarist Science Nordicile, kus ta märkis; "Ma arvan" tähendab see, et ka mehed tegid süüa. See "mõte", ütleb Moen, põhineb teisel "mõttel"; et „toiduvalmistamisseadmed viitavad külalislahkusele”. Kust üldse alustada?

Liberaalsed mõtted, mille on seadnud kõva teadus kahtluse alla

Eeldada, et mehed küpsetasid sama palju kui naised, sest nad olid maetud koos köögitarbega, tähendab eeldada, et viikingid, kes avastati draakonirõngaid kandes, võitlesid tõeliste draakonitega. Võtke mind? See on kindlasti mõttekäik, mis leiaks toetust konsultatsioonifirmas Multiconsult kultuuri säilitamise ja linnaplaneerimisega tegelevale Frans-Arne Stylegarile, kes ütles ajakirjanikele: „Matmistavades idealiseeritud isikut on raske tegelikuks muuta ajalooline reaalsus. See on peaaegu filosoofiline küsimus. "

Ja ärge hetkekski arvake, et Frans-Arne Stylegar ei hakanud, sest tema sõna „filosoofia” hoolikas kasutamine viitab sellele, et Moensi avastused põhinevad pigem „filosoofilistel spekulatsioonidel” kui rasketel teaduslikel andmetel. Juba asjaolu, et tema paber soovib soorolle vaidlustada, viitab tema skeptikutele, et tal võis olla oma järeldusele jõudmiseks mõnevõrra ettemääratud ettekujutus, mitte see, mis oli tehtud vaatluste põhjal. Moani viimane paber ei kandnud pealkirja " Inimesed maastikul " aga " Naised Norra maastikul ", Mis paljastab tema kaldus või loomupäraste eelarvamuste osas.

Kaitses meenutab Moen meile ...

Moen usub, et tööriistad ja toiduvalmistamise seadmed ei olnud mõeldud ainult kontseptuaalseks rakendamiseks teispoolsuses, sest „esemeid leiti ka majadest”. See loss on aga ehitatud liivale ja nii kaua, kui ta ei suuda kindlaks teha, kes esemeid kasutas, võib „olla” nii, et neid kasutasid naised „kõik”.

Üks Moeni argumente soorollide kohta oli see, et mõningaid hauapanuseid leiti ka majadest. ( serg_did / Adobe Stock)

Kuid aeglustame veidi Moeni uurimistööd, mis näitavad, et „üle 40 protsendi meeste haudadest sisaldasid ehteid, nagu prossid ja helmed”. Lisaks olid meeste haudadel tualetitarbed, sealhulgas pintsetid ja pardlid, mida tõenäoliselt kasutatakse isiklikuks hooldamiseks.

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Ehteid nagu prossid ja helmed on leitud nii meeste kui ka naiste hauaplaatidest. Mida see ütleb soorollide kohta? (Maia C / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Okei. Sügav hingetõmme. Väide, et kuna mehed hoolitsesid ja kandsid ehteid, ei tähenda see, et nad oleksid pidanud ka kodus süüa tegema ja nende eest hoolitsema, on seksistlik, rääkimata soolistest stereotüüpidest! Sellegipoolest toetab Moen kõiki oma eeldusi õigeks ja imestab nüüd, kust võis tulla idee selge soolise eristamise kohta minevikus?

1900. aastate alguses Norras välja kaevatud haudu tõlgendati muidugi nende aegade kultuuristandardite ja -perspektiividega samamoodi, nagu näeb Moen esemeid nüüdisaegsest vaatenurgast. Ja see perspektiiv on võib -olla sama tasakaalust väljas kui meespatriarhaat, kellele ta vaikides vihjab, sest ta nimetab end „sooarheoloogiks” ja soovib avalikult „vaidlustada teiste arheoloogide viikingite kultuuri tõlgendusi”.

"Mul on üsna palju skeptilisust," ütles Moen, sest valdav enamus isegi kaasaegseid teadlasi "on tööga seotud rollide osas oma arvamuse soo suhtes väga kindlad". Sellest hoolimata arvab ta, et osa põhjusest, miks 99,9% Norra teadlastest, nii meestest kui naistest, on nii valed, on see, et on lihtsam seostuda ajaloolise jutustusega, „mis on kooskõlas meie kaasaegsete ootustega”.

Moen usub, et kaasaegsed teadlased on seatud oma arvamusele viikingite soorollide kohta. ( Fxquadro / Adobe Stock)

Skeptikud aga rivistuvad, väites, et just seda Moan ise teebki, projitseerides oma kaasaegsed sooideoloogiad minevikku, kirjutades seega ümber tõendite ajaloo.

Kokkuvõtteks arvan, et see, mis meil siin on, on häbematult vastuoluline paber, mis on julge ja ilmne kooskõlas Euroopa ülikoolide liberaalse tegevuskavaga ning sel põhjusel pöörlevad konservatiivsed teadlased oma kingadesse. Ja nii võivad ka vaprad sõdalased viikingid, kes mõõga läbi surid, pöörduda oma haudadesse, karjudes spektraalselt: „see veekeetja on mu seenteeks mujal maailmas, mitte perele suppi keetma. Ja kamm, noh, ma kasutan seda enne, kui külastan oma vikside telki, mitte sellepärast, et olen hipster! Sheesh! Tõesti! ”

Pronksist Vikingi veekeetja. Kas tee valmistamise oskus ütleb tõesti midagi soorollide kohta? (Arild Finne Nybø / CC BY-SA 2.0 )


VIKINGI SOTSIAALNE STRUKTUUR JA SOOSISED ROLLID core.ac.uk/download/pdf/ VIKINGI SOTSIAALSTRUKTUUR JA.

roll tähendas viikingite ühiskonnas samuti seda, milliseid rolle nad suutsid täita.

Tahaksin tänada oma lugejat dr Susannah Lloyd ja professorit dr Davidit

Andersonile abi eest, mida nad mõlemad mulle on andnud. Samuti tahaksin tänada oma

Ema, Susan ja minu pere toetuse eest.

Kaasaegses ühiskonnas, kui arvestame sõna klassi, kui viidatakse isiku positsioonile

ühiskonna inimesed mõtlevad tavaliselt madalamatele sotsiaalsetele klassidele, töölisklassidele ja kõrgematele klassidele. see on

on üldteada, et kuigi üksikisikud võivad elada kindlas klassis, saavad inimesed seda teha

liikuda sellest hierarhiast üles ja alla. Nagu me teame, ei olnud see alati nii, oli aeg

kui orjad olid ühiskondades kohal ja neil polnud absoluutselt mingit võimalust oma auastmelt liikuda.

Sotsiaalsed staatused on aja jooksul arenenud ja muutunud ning koos nendega ka rollid ja reeglid

erinevad ühiskonnad. Sageli kujunesid need sotsiaalsed staatused ja neile järgnesid erinevad

omadused, mis inimestel olid. Näitena võiks tuua idee, et naistel on rollid määratletud

ja nad ei saanud osaleda tegevustes, mis olid osa meeste staatusest ja vastupidi

erinevad rollid, mis põhinesid ühiskonna hierarhial, näiteks äärmus

erinevused orja ja autoritasu vahel. Need olekute vahelised jooned olid kogu aeg erinevad

iidne maailm. Ja mineviku kultuuride puhul, mida enam ei eksisteeri, on seda väga raske täielikult täita

mõista rühmade ja üksikisikute rolle. Arheoloogia kaudu avastused

erinevatest matustest on abi ühiskonna sotsiaalsete struktuuride ühendamisel. Vaadates

matmispaigad kogukonnas, samuti hauaplatsid ja muud omadused, mida saame

suurepärane ülevaade nende isikute seisundist, kelle hauad on avastatud. Selline on

juhtum viikingiaegsetele ühiskondadele Taanis, Norras ja Rootsis (joonis

1). Vaadates nende alade matuseid, näeme, kuidas nende sotsiaalne struktuur üles ehitati

samuti seda, kuidas üksikisikute erinevad omadused mõjutasid nende rolle, eriti neid

Joonis 1. Skandinaavia kaart, mis näitab erinevaid viikingireise (Chartrand jt 2006: joonis 1)

Sõna viikingid kutsuvad tavaliselt esile pildi suurest hordist inimesi, kes kannavad sarvedega kiivreid

samal ajal rüüstades üht inglise küla. Tegelikult on viikingite eluviis Skandinaavias palju enamat

kui see eelarvamuslik pilt, mis on meie jaoks maalitud. Viikingikultuuri peamine päritolu

pärineb Skandinaavia piirkondadest, peamiselt Norra ja Rootsi madalamatest osadest

koos Taaniga. Viikingite kultuur eksisteeris umbes aastast 700 pKr kuni üheteistkümnenda sajandini või

varajase keskaja paiku (Christiansen 2002). Suur osa nende ajast kulus merereisidele

uute maade uurimiseks, samuti muude vajalike asjade hankimiseks. Just selle tõttu korduvalt

nad saavad piraadi või rüüstaja tiitli. Nad läheksid pikkadeks reisideks,

ja sellisena muutus ta läbi vee manööverdamiseks äärmiselt andekaks. Viikingid reisisid

kogu muistses Euroopa maailmas ja ka teistel mandritel, nagu on näha jooniselt 1.

Kuid viikingid elasid ka maismaal ja kogesid ajal normaalset elu

ka sel perioodil, kui mitte merel.

Kuigi suur osa ajast veedeti kodust eemal, veetsid nad tavaliselt oma talve

kodus. Kodudes ja merest eemal elades elasid nad põllumeeste, kaluritena,

kaupmehed, laevaehitajad, käsitöölised, sepad või puusepad, kui nimetada vaid mõnda ametit. Nagu

paljudes teistes kultuurides olid viikingitel kindlad sotsiaalsed klassid. Viikingite kultuuri allikatest me

teadke, et sotsiaalse hierarhia tipus on kuningas. Kuningas koguks makse, oma

maad kogu territooriumil ning vastutasuks töötaks see, et kaitsta ja lubada parimat

tingimused nende valitsemisajal (Chartrand 2006). Kuninga all oli väike

aristokraatlik rühmitus kutsus jarleid, kellele kuulus maa ja rentis selle üürnikele. Allpool

jarls on rühm nimega bndi, mis moodustas suurema osa viikingite kultuurist. Kõik need

rühmad olid vabad inimesed, kelle arvamust võis kuulda võtta, ja see oli oluline. Põhjas

kui sotsiaalne hierarhia oli röövel, olid need rühmad samaväärsed sellega, mida me peaksime

orjad ja nad kuulusid täielikult nende isandale ning neile pandi kõik ülesanded

Viikingite religioon ja surmajärgsed uskumused

Viikingid olid paganlik rahvas ja uskusid mitmete jumalate juuresolekusse, ja me kuuleme

nende jumalate kohta nende müütides ja legendides. Odinit mõeldakse Thori isast, kuid tõsi

Viikingite mütoloogia Thor on äikese jumal ja tõeline peajumal. Teised võtmed jumalad

sealhulgas Loki, kes oli pooleldi jumal ja pool deemon, ning Freyja. Ta on armastuse jumalanna ja

viljakust kui ka sõda ja surma. Usk nendesse jumalatesse olid konkreetsed uskumused

mitu valdkonda, kus üksikisik pärast surma vastu võetakse (lk 2004). Viiking

oli veendumus, et sõltuvalt indiviidist lubatakse neil siseneda teatud surmavaldkondadesse,

mida juhatas üks jumalatest. See oli aeg, mil sõdalased lahinguväljal surid

ütles, et pooled oleksid teretulnud Odinsi vallas Valhalla või Valhol, samuti

Valküüria või naissõdalased, keda peeti jumalikeks, koguksid meeste hinged

lahinguväli. Kõik kogunesid võitlema viimases lahingus Odiniga. Teine pool surnutest aastal

lahing sisenes jumalanna Freyja juhitud valdkonda. Helgafjell oli valdkond, mida usuti

olla palju nagu elu maa peal, kus inimesed jätkasid oma igapäevast elu ilusas kohas

keskkonda. Vastupidiselt teistele kujutatakse Heli kuningriiki karistuspaigana ja

valu. Valitses jumalanna Hel, keda peeti Loki tütreks, ja aastal kuratlik

välimus (Mortensen 1913). Nende ja mitmete väiksemate jumalatega võtsid viikingid kaasa

suurt hoolt oma religiooni praktiseerimisel rituaalide ja konkreetsete inimeste kaudu, kes olid šamaan või

preestrid ja preestrinnad, naistel oli peaaegu eksklusiivne roll Vlva või preestrinna

spetsialiseerunud ennustustele ja neid teadsid nende maagilised töötajad vlr (Shetelig 1937).

Maagiat saab kasutada nii elus esinevate probleemide lahendamiseks kui ka lahinguväljal võitlemiseks.

Need uskumused ja tavad mõjutavad oluliselt viikingite matmismeetodit

Skandinaavia viikingite arheoloogia toimus küll aastate jooksul, kuid on veel a

piiratud koguses viikingite matuseid, mida on võimalik uurida. Kuid viikingiaegsed matused

on üks parimaid viise, kuidas vaadata viikingite kultuuri sotsiaalse staatuse aspekte

soorollid ja nende roll ühiskonnas. Keskendudes Taanile, Norrale ja

Rootsi ning uurides nende alade haudade mitmekesisust ning erinevusi ja sarnasusi

hauakaubad, mida need sisaldavad. Nende alade vahel on matuste vahel suur mitmekesisus

mida ma vaatan. Teatud esemete olemasolu või puudumine koos ainulaadse matmisega

stiilid annavad suurepärase ülevaate sellest, kuidas sotsiaalne struktuur ja selle reeglid mõjutasid naisi

Viikingite kultuur. Mõned üksused, millele keskendun, hõlmavad ka nende olemasolu

relvad, esemed, mis viitavad majanduslikule võimule, aga ka muud isikud, kes võisid olla

matmiseks ohverdati ja kas inimene maeti koos laeva, vankri või muu ainulaadsega

aspektid, mis näitavad maetud isiku tähtsust.

Selliste esemete olemasolu või puudumine võib näidata prestiiži suurust

surnud isikul oli ja kui palju staatust näidati isegi surma korral. Neid võrreldes

meessoost ja naissoost haudade vahel on suurem ettekujutus naiste rollist

Viikingite kultuur. Ajaloolistest teadmistest teame paljusid rolle, millega mehed mängusid


Millised stereotüübid viikingite mehelikkusest eksivad?

Viikingite kujutis on tänapäeval karikatuur mehelikkusest ja pikkade juustega sõdalastest, mis on endiselt logodesse lisatud või reklaamivad tooteid, mis meeldivad meheliku käitumise oletatavale ideaalile. Kuid viikingiaegne Skandinaavia reaalsus hõlmas palju enamat, sealhulgas tõelist soo voolavust. Patriarhaat oli viikingite ühiskonna norm, kuid see oli igal sammul õõnestatud, sageli viisil, mis oli lummavalt lummav selle struktuuridesse.

Viikingid olid kindlasti tuttavad sellega, mida tänapäeval kutsutakse veidrateks identiteetideks. Soolised piirid olid jäigalt kontrollitud, kohati moraalse varjundiga ning meeste ja naiste sotsiaalne surve oli väga reaalne. Kuid samal ajal olid need piirid teatud sotsiaalse sanktsiooniga läbilaskvad. Siin on selge pinge, vastuolu, mis võib olla produktiivne kõigile, kes püüavad viikingite meelt mõista.

Neid teemasid ja seoseid saab järgida haudade uurimisel. Arheoloogid määravad maetud surnute soo nende luude (mis on usaldusväärsed, kuigi mitte kindlad) või DNA (mis kasutab kromosomaalset määratlust, mis on üldiselt vaieldamatu) analüüsimisel. Paljudel juhtudel aga surnukeha tuhastati või säilitamistingimused mullas on luude säilimiseks mis tahes olekus ebasoodsad. Nendel juhtudel on arheoloogid sajandeid kasutanud surnute soo kindlaksmääramist, seostades neid väidetavalt sooliste esemetega, ja hauas hoitakse mdash -relvi, et soovitada meest, ehtekomplektid tähistavad naist jne.

Lisaks ilmsetele probleemidele, mis on seotud soo ja soo segamisega ning ka tõhusalt metalli seksimisega, võivad need näited lihtsalt ühe eelduste kogumi teisele kuhjata, mida kohtuekspertiisi otsustajad nimetavad & ldquobias lumepalliks ja kumulatiivselt küsitavateks tõlgendusteks.

Niisiis, kuigi enamik neist soo/soo/esemete korrelatsioonidest peegeldab ilmselt viikingiaegset reaalsust, ei vasta kõik matused sellistele mustritele ning avatus eranditele ja mdash, mille kohta me teame, et need olid olemas ja mdashis on ülioluline. Ilma selleta ei saa loota, et suudame keskaegsetes tekstides tuvastatavale soospektrile arheoloogilist õigust teha või võrrelda seda viikingiaegse empiirilise reaalsusega. Huvitavam on see, et arheoloogia võib tõendeid leida identiteetide ja sugude kohta, mis ei jõudnud kirjalikesse allikatesse.

Lähtepunkt on haudades, kus luude ellujäämine on elujõuline. Sellistel juhtudel leiavad arheoloogid aeg -ajalt inimesi, kes on maetud esemete ja riietega, mida tavaliselt seostatakse vastassooga. Nende hulka kuuluvad meessoost luustikud, mis näivad olevat naistega tavapärasemalt maetud kleidid või ovaalsed prossid, mis hoiavad põlle rinnal kokku, ja sarnased kombinatsioonid. Naisekehadega matuste puhul on samaväärne relvade olemasolu piisavas koguses, et usutavalt vihjata surnutele sõdalase identiteedile. Rootsi H & aumlrjedaleni Vivallenis oli S & aacutemi asulas maetud isegi S & aacutemi rituaalide järgi meessoost kehaga, kuid seljas oli tavapärane S & aacutemi mees- ja rsquosevarustus põhjamaise naise ja rsquose linase kleidi ning ehetega, mis vastavad nii soolistele kui ka kultuurilistele normidele .

Siiani silmapaistvaim näide ühendab peaaegu kogu viikingite soo ühe matusega, tekitades rohkem küsimusi kui vastab. 10. sajandil toimunud kammerhauas, mis oli tähistatud Bj.581-ga Rootsis Birka linnakalmistul, maeti kallis riietatud laip istudes ja ümbritsetuna täisrelvakomplektiga (mis on haruldane), koos kahe ratsahobusega. See tõeliselt muljetavaldav matus kaevati välja 1878. aastal ja seda on sellest ajast alates peetud 900-ndate keskpaigast pärit kõrge staatusega sõdalase tüüpiliseks näiteks, omamoodi tolleaegseks viikingiks ja rdquo-ks. Bj.581 avaldati sellisena põlvkondades standardteoseid. Selle tõlgenduspaketi osana eeldati, et lahkunu oli alati mees, sest sõdalased olid & ndquoob ilmselt & rdquo mehed (segades sugu ja sugu tuttaval viisil). 2011. aastal aga näitas osteoloogiline uuring, et maetu oli tegelikult naine ja seda kinnitas 2017. aasta genoomianalüüs ning surnud kandsid XX kromosoomi. Järgnenud arutelu Birka näilise & ldquofemale naissoost sõdalase ja rdquo üle läks viiruslikuks ja tõmbab nüüd viikingite õpingud krampi, kusjuures vahel tekkis elav arutelu, millel on naiste ja sõjaga vähe pistmist, kuid mis puudutab rohkem sooliste eelduste tõrkejooni distsipliinis ja kaugemalgi.

Mõnes mõttes ei ole tegelikult oluline, kas Birka haual olnud isik oli naissoost kehaga sõdalane või mitte (kuigi uurimisrühma ühe juhtiva autorina usun kindlalt, et ta oli kõik need asjad). See inimene võis meie mõistes olla ka transsooline või mittebinaarne või sooline. On ka teisi võimalusi, kuid asi on selles, et neid kõiki tuleb tunnistada võimalike viikingiaegsete identiteetidena, samas kui & mdashcrucially & mdashnot eeldades, et see peab nii olema. Vähemtähtis on ka see, et Bj.581 tõlgendamisel peaksid teadlased olema ettevaatlikud, et mitte eitada naiste baasvalmidust, ja nende potentsiaal valida üks eluviis teiste ees ei pea tingimata olema erinev. Pealegi olid kõik need tegevuse ja identiteedi ristumiskohad iseenesest sügavalt soolised ja mdashfrom & ldquowarriorhood & rdquo kõigele muule.

Oluline on see, et ükski neist ei pidanud olema fikseeritud ja püsiv. Hilisemates proosatekstides, kuigi need on keerulised allikad, kohtab inimesi, kes muudavad nime, kui nad astuvad uuele eluteele, ja näiteks siis, kui teatud naistest saavad sõdalased. Kuid ainult mõnikord ja siin pole universaale ning keskaegsed allikad on problemaatilised, hilised, mitmetähenduslikud ja ebakindlad.

Kuigi mõned nende normid võivad tunduda jäigad, rakendasid skandinaavlased neid kuidagi viisil, mis võimaldas neid ka kahtluse alla seada, õõnestada ja vastu vaielda. Viikingiteadlased on mitmel moel ja paljude aastate jooksul olnud naiivsed ja lihtsameelsed oma soolise varieeruvuse tunnustamisel ja tunnustamisel hilisemal rauaajal. Võib-olla valisid viikingiaegsed inimesed iga päev oma identiteedi ja pidasid selle uuesti läbi, nagu paljud meist. Nende ideed soo kohta läksid kaugemale bioloogilise soo binaaridest, nagu teadlased hakkavad nüüd aru saama. Kahjuks hakkame ka alles nüüd teadvustama eesõigust, mis võimaldas meil sellest nii kaua mööda vaadata.


Kuidas naissoost viikingisõdalane ajaloost välja kirjutati

1880ndatel avastasid Skandinaavia arheoloogid haua, mis sisaldas kõiki lahinguks vajalikke tööriistu, sh kilbid, kirves, oda, mõõk ja raskete nooltega vibu koos kahe hobuse, mära ja täkuga. Mängude kogum on pannud teadlased juba ammu uskuma, et see inimene oli strateegiast huvitatud ja võis neid tükke lahingutaktika kavandamiseks kasutada. See oli viikingisõdalase haud ja eeldati, et see on isane. See määrati ja seda nimetatakse jätkuvalt kui Bj 581.

Füüsilised antropoloogid on juba ammu suutnud osteoloogilise analüüsi põhjal kindlaks teha sellised tunnused nagu sugu ja vanus ning sellised uuringud 1970ndatel tõstsid väljavaate, et see isik oli tegelikult naine. Aga hauaplats! Unustage luustiku füüsilised omadused, sõitja pidi olema mees.

Eelmisel kuul avaldas American Journal of Physical Anthropology lühikese uuringu, mis pani asja lõplikult rahule. Hedenstierna-Jonson ja tema meeskond teadsid kahest skeletist võetud DNA-proovist, genoomi sekveneerimisest, mtDNA testimisest ja strontsiumi isotoopanalüüsi tegemisest, et mitte ainult kindlaks teha luustiku bioloogiline sugu, vaid ka tuvastada geograafiline päritolu või „bioloogiline sugulus” (populatsioonid, kellega ta kõige rohkem sarnaneb- sealhulgas Briti saared, Põhja-Atlandi saared, Skandinaavia ja kriips Ida-Balkani riikidest) ja üksikisiku võimalik liikuvus elus. Kokkuvõttes lisavad need muutujad juba niigi keerulist pilti kosmopoliitsest Birkast, 8.-10. Sajandi viikingilinnast, kuhu Bj 581 maeti.

Kuigi populaarne lugu on olnud naissõdalasest, on selle uuringu tegelik lugu eeldused, mille teadlased just veest välja lasid. Hedenstierna-Jonson jt. ei kahtle oma avaldustes selles, et üle sajandi on seda isikut ekslikult meessoost tunnistatud, sest arheoloogid, kes on Lääne ühiskonnas akultureerunud rangelt määratletud soorollidega, peavad mehi üksi sõdalasteks või sõduriteks või vägivallatsejateks. Sõdalane, nagu sõjapidamine ise, on kultuurikonstruktsioon, tavad ja elukutsed, mille inimühiskonnad on loonud konkreetsete soovide täitmiseks. Ebakriitiliselt eeldada, et mehed on üksi sõdalased, viib inimeste käitumist käsitlevate muude eelduste kaskaadini, mis muudab meie katse neid käitumisi mõnevõrra vaielda.

Seda tüüpi eeldused kahjustavad arheoloogia teaduslikke püüdlusi. Eeldused soorollide kohta ei muuda naisi ainult arheoloogilistes andmetes nähtamatuks, vaid eeldused soorollide kohta lahjendavad meie arusaamu varasematest ühiskondadest ning inimlike saavutuste ja tegevuste tohutut keerukust. Naised pole mitte ainult nähtamatud, vaid mehed on deterministlikud ning kogu inimkonna ajalugu on vastik, jõhker ja lühike.

See pole arheoloogia ja antropoloogia uus probleem. Feministlikud uurijad nagu Joan Gero vaidlustasid 1990ndate alguses meie kõige elementaarsema kategooria „mees tööriistade valmistaja”. Gero argument oli siis see, et arheoloogiliste andmete kõige levinumaks esemeks olevaid kivitööriistu valmistati ja kasutati meestel isegi sellistes olukordades nagu maja ja küla, kus eeldati, et tegevuses domineerivad naised. Gero illustreeris selgelt ja lühidalt, et etnograafilised ja ajaloolised tõendid ei toeta tegelikult inimese-tööriista tegija hüpoteesi ja et meie kaasaegse väärtussüsteemi muud aspektid-meie kalduvus muuta tööjõudu kaubaks, kvantifitseerida „energiat” ja „kulusid” ning seetõttu anna neile asjadele kõrgemat väärtust- võib tegelikult moonutada paljusid meie uurimisküsimusi ja a priori järeldusi.

Skogstrand väidab, et androtsentrism arheoloogias teeb karuteene kõikidele inimsoodele, väites, et „asjaolu, et mehed esindavad kogu eelajaloolist ühiskonda, ei seisne mitte ainult seetõttu, et naisi ignoreeritakse, vaid seetõttu, et mehed pole soolised”. Ebakriitiliselt eeldades minevikus rakendatud kaasaegseid soorolle, ei saa me aru, kuidas varasemad rahvad elasid ja kuidas nad maailma nägid. Seetõttu on mehed sama nähtamatud kui naised ja minevik muutub igavaks.

Juba Bj 581 tuvastamine takerdub pedantsetesse argumentidesse, milles küsitakse, kas see isik võis olla sõdalane. Genoomika on üsna kindel- need on naise jäänused, kes oli geneetiliselt viikingite maailma osa ja kes viidi viikingite hauda koos viikingite materiaalse kultuuriga, täpsemalt lahingutegevuse ja sõjapidamisega seotud materiaalsete kultuuridega. Mõne inimese jaoks on nende muutujate ühildamine jätkuvalt väljakutse. Kuid samadel inimestel puudub genoomikauuringu suurem mõju. Tegelikud küsimused, huvitavad küsimused: mida see tähendab, et Bj 581 oli naine? Mida räägib see meile viikingite ühiskonna ülesehitusest? Kas Bj 581 oli ainulaadne või esindas ta naiste kategooriat, mis on suures osas mütoloogiasse viidud? Ja mida võib see meile öelda selle kohta, kuidas vägivaldset konflikti vaadati ja kogeti? Hedenstierna-Jonson jt. avas just terve rea uurimisküsimusi, mis tuletavad meile meelde, kui keerulised, rikkad ja põnevad inimühiskonnad tegelikult on, kui uurime neid sellisena, nagu nad olid, ja mitte kajastama seda, kes me arvame end olevat.

Hedenstierna-Jonson C., Kjellstrom A., Zachhrisson T. jt (2017) Genomics kinnitatud naissoost viikingisõdalane. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Gero, Joan (1991) Genderlithics: Women’s Rolls in Stone Tool Production. Raamatus Enringering Archaeology: Women in Prehistory, toimetanud Joan Gero ja Margaret Conkey. Kirjastus Blackwell.

Skogstrand, Lisbeth (2010) Kas androtsentriline arheoloogia puudutab tõesti mehi? Arheoloogiad: maailma arheoloogilise kongressi ajakiri.


Üks mõte teemal & ldquo Naised viikingiajal toona ja praegu & rdquo

Nõustun täielikult teie lähenemisega ja mulle meeldib see nurk, mida te selles valite. Jah, teil on õigus tänapäeva uurimiste minevikus on naised minevikus lahterdatud traditsioonilistesse kategooriatesse. Osbergi matustel oli ka A.S Ingstadti kirjutatud artikkel, et see oli preestrinna matmine ja siin pole midagi halvustavat. Tegelikult võivad Vaniri preestrinna olla Skandinaavia viikingiajal märkimisväärselt võimsad, pidades märkimisväärselt silmas põllumajanduslikke tulemusi. Ma arvan ka, et ei saa unustada seda, mida see ütleb keskaegsetes seadustikutes nagu Grágás (ma töötan Põhja -Atlandil, samuti naiste ja tekstiilitööga tegelev arheoloog). Olen neist läbi käinud peene hambakammiga ja pole kahtlust nendes varakeskaegsetes dokumentides ei peetud naisi meestega võrdseks ning kehtivad ranged reeglid selle kohta, kes võivad osaleda kohalikel üritustel ja kes võivad Goðorði pärida ja kuidas. Samuti reguleeriti abielu ja üldist ühiskondlikult aktsepteeritud käitumist. Need raamatud pole muidugi otseselt viikingiajast ja ma arvan, et naistel oli viikingiajal rohkem võimu kui varakeskajal, kuid Grágás kopeeriti peaaegu otse kasutusel olnud Norra Gulathingi seadusest enne Islandi 12. sajandit. Töötan tekstiilitootmises naisjõu kallal ja kogu võim ei tule poliitilise juhtimise vormis, on ka peenemat võimu ja nad võivad sisendada hirmu ja austust, mis on sama tõhusad kui viimane.


Milline oli naiste elu viikingiajal?

Tehniliselt ei saanud naised isegi viikingid olla. Nagu Judith Jesch, raamatu "#viikingiaegsed naised" ja#x201D (1991) autor on märkinud, kehtis vanapõhja sõna “vikingar ” ainult meeste kohta, tavaliselt nende meeste kohta, kes läksid oma kuulsate pikkade paatidega Skandinaaviast. ja purjetas umbes 800-1100 pKr sellistesse kaugematesse kohtadesse nagu Suurbritannia, Euroopa, Venemaa, Põhja-Atlandi saared ja Põhja-Ameerika.

Kuid kuigi need viikingid said kurikuulsateks ägedate sõdalaste ja jõhkrate ründajatena, olid nad ka vilunud kauplejad, kes rajasid kaubateid üle kogu maailma. Nad asutasid asulaid, rajasid linnu (näiteks Dublin) ja jätsid püsiva mõju laevade lossimiskohtade kohalikele keeltele ja kultuuridele.

Kui varasemad ajaloolised uuringud viikingite kohta olid teoreetilised, et meremehed norralased rändasid ainult meestele mõeldud rühmades ja võib-olla Skandinaavias soovimatute kaaslaste puudumise tõttu, siis uuem uuring räägib hoopis teistsuguse loo. Uuemas uuringus, mis avaldati 2014. aasta lõpus, kasutasid teadlased mitokondriaalseid DNA tõendeid selle kohta, et norralannad ühinesid oma meestega viikingiaja rändeks Inglismaale, Shetlandi ja Orkney saartele ning Islandile ning olid olulised rände- ja ” Eriti varem asustamata piirkondades, näiteks Islandil, olid norralannad uute asulate asustamisel ja nende edukusel elulise tähtsusega.

Nagu paljud traditsioonilised tsivilisatsioonid, valitses viikingiaegne ühiskond kodu- ja välismaal peamiselt meeste üle. Mehed tegelesid jahipidamise, võitlemise, kauplemise ja põllumajandusega, naised aga keskendusid toiduvalmistamisele, kodu eest hoolitsemisele ja laste kasvatamisele. Enamik arheoloogide leitud viikingite matmistest peegeldab neid traditsioonilisi soorolle: mehed maeti tavaliselt koos relvade ja tööriistadega ning naised majapidamistarvete, näputööde ja ehetega.

Kuid Skandinaavia viikingiaegsed naised nautisid oma päeva jaoks ebatavalist vabadust. Abielu lõppedes võivad nad omada vara, taotleda lahutust ja nõuda kaasavara tagasi. Naised kippusid abielluma vanuses 12 kuni 15 aastat ja pered pidasid nende abielude korraldamiseks läbirääkimisi, kuid tavaliselt oli naisel selles kokkuleppes oma sõna. Kui naine soovis lahutust, pidi ta kutsuma tunnistajaid oma koju ja abieluvoodisse ning kuulutama nende ees, et on oma abikaasast lahutanud. Abielulepingus oli tavaliselt kirjas, kuidas lahutatakse abielu lahutamisel perevara.

Kuigi mees oli maja “ruler ”, mängis naine aktiivset rolli nii oma abikaasa kui ka majapidamise juhtimisel. Norra naistel oli koduvaldkonnas täielik autoriteet, eriti kui nende abikaasad puudusid. Kui leibkonnamees suri, võtaks tema naine tema rolli alaliselt, juhtides üksinda peretalu või kaubandusettevõtet. Paljud Skandinaavia viikingiaegsed naised olid maetud võtmerõngastega, mis sümboliseerisid nende rolli ja võimu majapidamishaldurina.

Mõned naised tõusid eriti kõrgele staatusele. One of the grandest burials ever found in Scandinavia from that period belonged to the Oseberg “queen,” a woman who was buried in a sumptuously decorated ship along with many valuable grave goods in A.D. 834. Later in the ninth century, Aud the Deep-Minded, the daughter of a Norwegian chieftain in the Hebrides (islands off northern Scotland) married a Viking king based in Dublin. When her husband and son died, Aud uprooted her household and organized a ship voyage for herself and her grandchildren to Iceland, where she became one of the colony’s most important settlers.

Kas viikingiaja ühiskonnas oli naissõdalasi? Though relatively few historical records mention the role of women in Viking warfare, the Byzantine-era historian Johannes Skylitzes did record women fighting with the Varangian Vikings in a battle against the Bulgarians in A.D. 971. In addition, the 12th-century Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus wrote that communities of “shieldmaidens” dressed like men and devoted themselves to learning swordplay and other warlike skills, and that some 300 of these shieldmaidens held the field in the Battle of Brávellir in the mid-eighth century. Oma kuulsas teoses Gesta Danorum kirjutas Saxo kilpkonnatüdrukust Lagertha, kes võitles koos kuulsa viiking Ragnar Lothbrokiga lahingus rootslaste vastu, ja avaldas Ragnarile oma julgust, nii et ta otsis ja võitis tema abielus käe.

Enamik sellest, mida me viikingiaegsetest naissõdalastest teame, pärineb kirjandusteostest, sealhulgas romantilistest saagadest, mida Saxo mõne allikana nimetas. Female warriors known as “Valkyries,” who may have been based on shieldmaidens, are certainly an important part of Old Norse literature. Arvestades nende legendide levimust ning nende suuremaid õigusi, staatust ja võimu, tundub kindlasti tõenäoline, et naised viikingite ühiskonnas tõepoolest aeg -ajalt relvi haarasid ja kaklesid, eriti kui keegi ähvardas neid, nende perekondi või vara.


Viking women at home

The University of Tubingen study also suggests a link between rural equality in Viking times and a specialisation in raising animals. Professor Jörg Baten explained that men dealt with crops because of the need for greater physical strength, adding: “raising animals enabled women to contribute a great deal to the family income. That probably raised their position in society.”

The viking farm at Avaldsnes in western Norway

Women were also just as responsible for their homesteads, often working for months at a time while a community's men were away. The hub of everyday life was the longhouse, a long, single-roomed accommodation with benches for sleeping and seating set around a central fireplace.

Typically, the woman's responsibility would have been to care for the house and its residents. This could include elderly relatives, visiting political or business guests, and in many cases, foster-children. Viking women were practised storytellers. In fact, this oral tradition carried on for centuries until the stories were captured in writing in the Icelandic sagas of the Early Middle Ages.

“Such women in the Nordic countries may have led to popular myths about the Valkyries: They were strong, healthy and tall,” says Jörg Baten. But the picture in Scandinavian cities was different. “The Swedish towns of Lund and Sigtuna – on the site of today’s Stockholm – and in Trondheim in Norway, had developed a class system by the Early Middle Ages. Women there did not have the same equality as their sisters in the countryside.”


Skeptical Humanities

In the last week, a number of websites have informed their readers that recent scientific evidence shows that roughly half of Viking warriors were female. Tor.com proclaims, “Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female,” while Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing declares that “Half the Remains of Slain Vikings in England Are Female.” Wow, cool! How is it possible that we didn’t know this before? Well, according to Emma Cueto of Bustle, it’s because of evil sexist scholars. Her post boasts the level-headed title, “Women Viking Warriors Existed, Confounding Sexist Scientists Everywhere.” She claims that sexist archaeologists have used sexist assumptions to come to sexist conclusions rather than looking at the actual data:

After all, if archeologists [sic] are letting their sexist assumptions affect the way they collect and classify data about the past, that has some pretty troubling implications. For instance, when people argue in favor of “traditional” gender roles, they often cite history, saying that since this is how things have always been, clearly it’s natural and therefore right.

I’d like to see an example of a modern archaeologist saying that something is natural and right because it was common in the past: “Well, human sacrifice is traditional. It’s been practiced for millennia. So I’ve slaughtered a couple of the slower diggers to appease the gods. Mida? Stop looking at me like that!”

Human Sacrifice: Traditional, Therefore Required*

And if we are imposing our own ideas about gender back onto the past, that’s not only bad for the modern fight for gender equality, but it’s also just bad science.

So if archeologists could stop making sexist assumptions and maybe start being thorough researchers, that would great. Sound good, guys?

She’s right: doing thorough research on important looking at as many types of evidence as possible on oluline. Scholars in all fields should stop imposing their own ideas about gender onto the past, and they should look at the actual data.

It is especially ironic, then, that she appears to be imposing her ideas about gender roles and gender equality onto the Viking Age and that she hasn’t looked at the data. That is to say, neither she nor many of the other writers seem actually to have read the scholarly article that inspired them.

They seem not, for instance, to have noticed its date of publication: 2011. Even the USA Today and Jezebel articles that actually get cited and quoted are from 2011. It’s not entirely clear why this story has been resurrected, although it may have something to do with the popularity of the History Channel’s series Vikings, which features a shield-maiden named Lagertha.

Photo: Jonathan Hession,
The History Channel
NOT A REAL VIKING WOMAN!

The actual scholarly article, “Warriors and Women: The Sex Ratio of Norse Migrants to Eastern England up to 900 AD” by Shane McLeod has nothing to do with female Viking warriors. It only tangentially relates to warriors at all. He’s talking about migrants, early Norse settlers. His focus is very narrow: Norse burials in eastern England from the latter half of the ninth century. Specifically, he discusses Scandinavian burials contemporary with the incursions of the Great Heathen Army (865-878) and a second army that rampaged in the 890s. Considering the narrow focus, it’s dangerous to extrapolate the data to the entire Viking world.

Extrapolation is even more dangerous when we consider that he is discussing fourteen burials. Fourteen. According to osteological examination, seven of the skeletons** were male, six were female, and one couldn’t be sexed because it was a juvenile. This data suggests that there mai have been a higher percentage of female settlers during this period than has previously been assumed. It was commonly believed that males–warriors–came first. After they claimed land and began to settle, Norse women began to join them in larger numbers, while many Norsemen married Anglo-Saxon women. McLeod isn’t the first to suggest that more women arrived earlier than was previously thought, although he provides some data to support his contention.

The sample size is, however, tiny. And his findings don’t necessarily contradict the idea that there were many intermarriages between the Norse and the Anglo-Saxons or that more Norse women arrived later.

Here are some things the article doesn’t say: McLeod never says that any of the remains belong to “the slain.” He never claims the female migrants were warriors. Indeed, he refers on several occasions to women and children who accompanied the armies. So where does this whole “warrior woman” thing come from, and what’s up with the sexist archaeologists?

Well, he points out that the sex of Viking Age human remains is often determined by looking at grave goods (this is true of other pagan burials as well). He believes that grave goods may not always be a reliable indication of sex, and he focuses instead on remains that have been sexed by an examination of the bones. And this is fair enough. All data should be taken into account: both grave goods and osteological examination.

Of the fourteen burials he discusses, most of the male remains were found with items traditionally associated with male burials, and most of the female remains were found with items traditionally associated with female burials. There are two exceptions. One is a double burial, a female with the juvenile of undetermined sex. These two were buried with “sword hilt grip, shield clamps, knife” (Table 2, p. 345). Of course, we don’t know which of the grave’s occupants was the proud owner of these items. Another woman was buried with “axe, seaxes, sword pieces in mortuary” (Table 2, p. 345).

So, that’s it–that’s the big sexist scandal. Now, there are a few things to keep in mind. For one thing, osteological examination isn’t always possible. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough bone evidence. And osteological evidence can also be problematic. In fact, McLeod does a good job of showing exactly how difficult it is to make many determinations when dealing with very old human remains. Not only is the sex of the remains a problem, so is determining date, establishing whether the remains are really Norse, etc. So, yes, consider the bone evidence, but don’t ignore the evidence of grave goods. The article does not reveal some sort of nefarious sexist scandal in the field of archaeology.

So are the few women who were buried with weapons warriors? Possibly, but it’s difficult to say for sure. We don’t really know why they were buried with these items. Were there female Vikings? Noh, Viikingid Wiki certainly things so:

Shield-maidens were women who chose to fight as warriors alongside the other Viking men in the pagan Scandinavia.

They took part in warfare, and they played vital strategic roles in the battlefield, where the shield-maidens were either part of the front-lines in their shield-wall formation, or were the ones who helped close the gaps in their defense by picking up the shields of the fallen and holding them up themselves. Scholars like Britt-Mari Näsström suggest that sheild-maidens [sic] where transsexual women who where adapted as warriors to fit in.

Wow, that’s super-specific. And there’s absolutely no evidence for it. Shield-maidens are often associated with valkyries, who were mythological semi-divine women–not real, historical warrior women. Lagertha, the shield-maiden from Viikingid, may have started out as a goddess or giantess. Lagertha, along with several other warrior women, also appears in Saxo Grammaticus’s Gesta Danorum, but these are all within the realm of legend rather than history. Saxo also disapprovingly presents them as transgressing normal female behavior, and they are ultimately defeated. Also in the realm of legend is Hervör of Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks.

In semi-historical works, there are a few women who take up weapons. Freydis, the daughter of Eirik the Red and sister or half-sister of Leif Eiriksson, has a great warrior moment in the Saga of Eirik the Red. She has accompanied Thorfinn Karlsefni to Vinland. When the Norse retreat after an assault by the Skraelings (Native Americans), Freydis derides them for cowardice. Because she is heavily pregnant, she falls behind. When confronted by Skraelings, she picks up a sword from a dead man and slaps it against her breasts. This action scares off the Skraelings. She is not, however, a Viking warrior.

Scandinavian women of the Viking era (particularly Icelandic women) had more rights than many other European women, and Old Norse literature is filled with strong, interesting, powerful, influential, respected, and occasionally villainous women, but most of them are not warriors. Judith Jesch, Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham, argues that women who took up weapons were rare in medieval Scandinavia:

Like most periods of human history, the Viking Age was not free from conflict, and war always impacts on all members of a society. It is likely that there were occasions when women had to defend themselves and their families as best they could, with whatever weapons were to hand. But there is absolutely no hard evidence that women trained or served as regular warriors in the Viking Age. Valkyries were an object of the imagination, creatures of fantasy rooted in the experience of male warriors. War was certainly a part of Viking life, but women warriors must be classed as Viking legend.

Swedish archaeologist and skeptic Martin Rundkvist agrees that warrior women were very rare during the Viking Age, and he argues that osteological sexing tends to support the evidence of grave goods:

[F]urnished burial is strongly gendered and this correlates with osteological sexing. Looking at richly furnished graves, you get weapon burials and jewellery burials, so dissimilar that you have to seriate them separately when you build chronology. The stuff they tend to share are things like pots and table knives. Almost always the weapon graves contain male-sex bones and the jewellery graves contain female-sex bones.

Every once in a very long while you get a jewellery grave with a single piece of weaponry in it, or vice versa. But in most cases those are cremation graves where it is impossible to know if (to pick a 6th century case from my dissertation about the Barshalder cemetery) the heavily armed cavalry man was buried with a dainty bead necklace around his neck or if his wife just put it on the pyre next to his feet as a parting gift. So it seems that if a few women were buried as warriors, their grave goods would be likely to be 100% weapon-gendered, not mixed.

Like Jesch, he agrees that women in rare circumstances may have fought to protect themselves, but that these were not Viking women:

Did any women ever fight? Yes, I’m sure some did, particularly when threatened by male warriors, as would have been an unfortunate fact of life in that barbaric age. But the ones who joined an armed retinue, lived the ideal warrior life and went to Valhalla must have been vanishingly few.

Finally, he argues that whether there were women warriors in the Viking world has no effect on gender issues today. He does not believe that tradition should guide contemporary actions. Clearly Dr. Rundkvist is not the sexist straw archaeologist that Cueto set up. He ends by saying,

The past is not our mirror and archaeology must resist attempts to use its results or bend its interpretations for political purposes today.

He clearly agrees with Cueto that archaeologists should follow the evidence and that they should not let “their sexist assumptions affect the way they collect and classify data about the past.” Unlike Cueto, however, he seems to believe archaeologists should follow the evidence even when it suggests that Viking warrior women were largely a myth.

*WickerManIllustration” by Unknown Original uploader was Midnightblueowl at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia transfer was stated to be made by User:Midnightblueowl.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons –

*The remains were not necessarily complete skeletons. Some came from cremation burials.

McLeod, Shane. “Warriors and Women: The Sex Ration of Norse Migrants to Eastern England up to 900 AD.” Early Medieval Europe 19.3 (2011): 332-353.


Grave Goods Demand Gender Roles In Viking History To Be Rewritten. Or Do They? - Ajalugu

The Roles of Women During the Viking Age

Vikings are often pictured as muscled blonde men in horned helmets sailing around in dragon shaped boats, raping and pillaging as they please. In the modern day, Vikings have become a staple in TV shows such as History Channels, “The Vikings,” and the Norwegian comedy series, “The Norsemen”. Many times the Viking women are completely left out of the equation.

This is unfair, as Viking women had several roles in their society. One of their most prominent roles was in textile production. They made clothing, sacks, and even produced the sails of the ships [1]. Most of the evidence for women’s roles comes from grave goods. Grave goods are the possessions the person owned during their lifetime, or represent that persons place or role in society. Nicolaysen’s barrow 113 is a good representation of a female grave. Found on the Norde Kaupang farm in southern Vestfold it contains the body of a female Viking who was cremated, which was typical for the Middle Viking Age. Her grave contained a spindle whorl (used in creating textiles), a horse bit and stirrups, cooking utensils, and the two oval brooches that marked every female Viking’s grave [2]. Using the evidence of grave goods it can be determined that women’s roles in textile production was an important one.

Women could own property and gain inheritance. One of the most famous burials discovered was the Oseburg Ship Burial. Found in Norway, it contains two women as well as a ship, 12 horses, 2 oxen, and 4 dogs [3]. This burial was massive, and was a demonstration of these women’s wealth and social standing. This can help historians conclude that women could gain an independent social ranking, and gain wealth separate from their husbands or fathers [4].

Another form of evidence for determining women’s status were runestones. A runestone is sort of like how we picture gravestones today, a marker that tells the story of the person who is buried there. Unlike our gravestones, runestones also tell about the person who paid for them to be made. One famous runestone is from Bro, Sweden. It was purchased by a woman named Inga, who had several runestones made to honor the deaths of her sons and two husbands. She tells how they died, and that they were honorable men [5]. Her runestones also credited her sons and husbands for her inheritance. She gained a large amount of money, and she wanted to honor them for this. While this story is sad, it opens the door for historians to look at how inheritance passed down through families, and proved women could be first in line.

The Viking culture had strong ideas based on family and each member of the family had specific roles. Women helped care for the family’s farm and businesses. This is evidenced through graves of women and men [6]. The way in which someone was buried also helps historians know the persons roles in life. Men were typically buried in boat burials, to show they had been out to sea and explored. Women were sometimes buried alongside the men, but it was rare to find a woman in boat grave by herself. The burial Ka. 259 Grave V holds a female in a boat burial [7].

Another thing many historians look into is the Viking Sagas. A Saga is a story that tells about a hero and their struggles, or the achievement of the society as a whole. While these Sagas are not truth, they can be used to learn about how Vikings lived and viewed each other. One saga called, “A Warrior Woman,” tells the story of the Viking woman Lagerda who helps the hero Ragnar in helping defeat his enemies. Because of her courage and strength Ragnar wants to marry her [8]. This shows that the Vikings had positive stories about women as warriors.

The female Viking lived a life that was mainly focused on working in the household as well as running the family farm. They had several rights among the men through inheritance and marriage laws. These women helped Viking society in its success, and although often overlooked or misrepresented, had an important place in their society.

[1] Jesch, Judith. Naised viikingiajal. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1991.

[2] Marianne Moen. The Gendered Landscape: A Discussion on Gender, Status and Power in the Norwegian Viking Age Landscape. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011.

[4] Marianne Moen. The Gendered Landscape: A Discussion on Gender, Status and Power in the Norwegian Viking Age Landscape. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011.

[5] Jesch, Judith. Naised viikingiajal. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1991.

[6] Graham-Campbell, James, and Dafydd Kidd. “House and Home.” Sisse Viikingid, 75–85. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1980. [7] Marianne Moen. The Gendered Landscape: A Discussion on Gender, Status and Power in the Norwegian Viking Age Landscape. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2011.


Naised viikingiajal

Although women in the Viking Age (c. 790-1100 CE) lived in a male-dominated society, far from being powerless, they ran farms and households, were responsible for textile production, moved away from Scandinavia to help settle Viking territories abroad stretching from Greenland, Iceland, and the British Isles to Russia, and were perhaps even involved in trade in the sparse urban centres. Some were part of a rich upper class, such as the lady – perhaps a queen – who was buried in the ostentatious Oseberg ship burial in 834 CE, while on the other end of the spectrum, slaves, among them many women, were taken from conquered territories during the Viking expansion and integrated into Viking Age society.

As we are largely dependent on piecing together their lives mostly through burials, the accompanying grave goods, and the occasional runestone that mentions women (or was commissioned by one), we know a fair amount about Viking Age women's clothing, jewellery, and personal items but much less about their effective 'power' or the status they held. In a landscape where small rural communities or even remote self-sustaining farmsteads were the norm, however, the domestic tasks that were mainly the domain of women were clearly far from unimportant. In some cases, while their men were away trading, or pillaging monasteries and scaring monks around the Northern European coasts, the wives who stayed behind likely took over control of the farm for a while. Moreover, over the past few years, the possible existence of female Viking warriors has been discussed a lot – adding high-pitched battle-screams to an otherwise very bearded scene – but the evidence is quite controversial and inconclusive.

Reklaam

Clothing & Jewellery

One of the less cloudy areas when it comes to the lives of women in the Viking Age is their clothing and jewellery. Courtesy of burials and their accompanying grave goods, we know that most women seem to have worn outfits comprised of two or three layers, the first of which being a linen or woollen sleeved shift or underdress fastened at the neck with a small disc brooch and sometimes pleated there, too. On top of this, a strapped gown or overdress was worn, made of a rectangular piece of usually wool which was wrapped around the body and held up by shoulder straps which at the front of the dress were pinned down by two oval brooches.

These oval brooches, also known as tortoise brooches, are typical for Viking Age material culture, and when one finds such brooches in graves, a Scandinavian link is usually present. They varied hugely in style more than 50 styles have been identified, and, as Neil Price explains, "the differences may reflect changes in fashion, but it is more likely this enormous diversity shows an arcane language of class and regional affiliation we can no longer understand." (Fitzhugh & Ward, 36). Alternatively, box brooches could also be used to fasten shawls and the likes. Both types of brooches were usually made of bronze and adorned with knotted patterns. The types of textiles held in place by them could vary greatly too, from simple domestic wool to fine oriental silk in trading hubs such as Birka in Sweden, where, interestingly, the varying qualities of cloth were often present in one and the same (rich) grave.

Reklaam

Besides these practical items, women in the Viking Age also wore necklaces, arm rings, and trefoil buckles (and trefoil brooches, made up of three 'arms' poking out, embellished with knotwork and/or filigree). Beads are also commonly found in their graves.

Telli meie tasuta iganädalane uudiskiri!

Running the Household

Although a few trade centres did exist, Viking Age homes were mostly located in smaller rural hubs and at isolated farms where a large degree of self-sufficiency would have been needed to survive. A typical Viking Age house was made up of one long room with a central hearth and could be accompanied by a dairy, sheds, barns, and other outbuildings.

Mostly resigned to this domestic sphere, Judith Jesch remarks that "women living in rural areas in the Viking Age spent most of their time in the triangle of byre [cowshed], dairy and living quarters, providing their families with food and clothing" (41). Just as food had to be prepared from whatever raw state it came in – quite unlike running to the supermarket – textile production and the subsequent making of clothes were elaborate processes that almost all Viking Age women were involved in one way or another. In fact, the most common grave goods found in female graves from this period are spindle whorls, wool combs, and weaving battens, especially in the countryside. Other tasks that do not show up in the archaeological record in such a direct way but are traditionally associated with women are child-rearing and caring for the sick or the elderly, and we might also imagine women doing odd jobs around the farm or even some carpentry or leatherworking. How exactly children were brought up and whether girls were treated any differently from boys is unclear, although daughters could perhaps be given in marriage at an appropriate age.

Reklaam

Although subordinate to their husbands, like their contemporaries, women arguably had a good degree of responsibility and perhaps even control over the running of the household, as symbolised by the fact they were often buried with keys, and they were likely on occasion left in charge of matters while their husbands were away (or dead). Anne-Sophie Gräslund has even suggested farms were like firms, "run by husband and wife together, in which the work of both partners was of equal importance although different and complementary" (Sørensen, 260). It must be noted, though, that the people who owned such (larger) farms and their adjoining lands would have had considerable means and would likely have belonged to the upper classes within society they are not automatically reflective of all of Viking Age society. Throughout Viking Age society, though, marriage was a pivotal institution used to create new ties of kinship, also among Scandinavians and locals in conquered or settled areas, and, in line with the influence women could wield through their husbands, it seems unmarried women had very limited prospects. Before the advent of Christianity throughout Scandinavia and Viking territories around 1000 CE, concubinage (often connected to slavery), and plural marriages occurred at least among the royals.

In general, although it is hard to comment on the exact status of Viking Age housewives, we must remember their domestic role was a very central one and would not generally have gone unappreciated. The inscription found on a stone as Hassmyra (Vs 24) – the only verse found on a Swedish inscribed stone that commemorates a woman – certainly seems to confirm this:

The good farmer Holmgaut had this raised in memory of his wife Odindis.
A better housewife
will never come
to Hassmyra
to run the farm.
Red Balli carved
these runes.
She was a good sister
to Sigmund.

(Jesch, 65)

Possible tradeswomen

There were a few trading centres in Viking Age Scandinavia where a lot more hustle and bustle must have gone on and where families would have lived slightly different lives than their more isolated and rural counterparts. The largest of these centres were Birka in Sweden, Ribe in Denmark, Kaupang in Norway, and Hedeby in present-day northern Germany (on the southern edge of Viking Age Denmark). Whereas in the countryside women were often buried with spindle whorls, female graves unearthed at Birka, for instance, hold needles, scissors, and tweezers, hinting at fine sewing, and even merchants' weights, scales, and coins.

Reklaam

These latter have been found not just around other urban centres in Scandinavia but also in Viking territories across what is now Russia, and have been taken to indicate that these women had been traders. Directly linking grave goods to actual activities in life is always a bit risky, though, as we do not know the intentions with which they were buried. Judith Jesch sensibly cautions that,

…we need to consider whether grave goods really represent the former lives of the dead, or whether some of them could not in fact have more of a symbolic function. The presence of weights in children's graves does not necessarily mean that they engaged in trading activities too. (Jesch, 21)

Instead, as has indeed been proposed by others, a woman buried with weights and scales may simply have belonged to a family of merchants rather than she herself having been an active merchant. As with many things regarding women in the Viking Age, we just do not have enough information to fill in such blanks or to paint a detailed picture of what exactly an urban Viking Age woman's life would have looked like. However, women in trade centres would certainly have been more directly connected with the wider world, not just through 'exotic' goods coming in but also through visitors. An account that relays how in the 9th century CE a Christian mission was sent to Birka and successfully converted the rich widow Frideburg and her daughter Catla, who then decided to travel to the Frisian market town of Dorestad, illustrates this.

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The Elite

If some women were indeed involved in trade, this might conceivably have placed them in the upper rungs of society or least given them means and status. The Viking Age's rich and powerful – a group which obviously was not exclusively male – peep through the gap of time and reach the modern world in a number of ways, such as the large runestones that were erected across Scandinavia, and burials ranging from just 'rich' to ones so over the top it leaves us no doubt as to the buried person's importance.

Runestones – unsurprisingly, big stones covered in runes and ornamentation usually erected to commemorate the dead – were normally commissioned by wealthy families, the runes speaking of their endeavours in life. Not only can one imagine women being important within these families, some stones were actually commissioned by women themselves (either jointly or alone), leaving an "impression of high social standing of a very few women" (Jesch, 49-50). Runestones also illustrate how important the inheritance of a woman was to facilitate the transfer of wealth from one family to another. Furthermore, some richly furnished female graves (and even boat graves) found in rural settings hint at women possibly climbing to high social positions there. In this same setting, we have already seen that women might have ended up running the farm in their husbands' absence.

Some 40 graves from Scandinavia and beyond have lent some credence to the idea, stemming from the texts and sagas related to the Viking Age, of the existence of female 'sorceresses'. Seiðr is a type of shamanistic magic mainly connected to women in the sources, who could be vǫlva (singular: vǫlur): powerful sorceresses with the power to see into the future and mainly associated with a staff of sorcery. Similar objects have been discovered in Viking Age burials and have clear symbolic overtones, perhaps even - according to one interpretation - functioning as metaphorical staffs used to 'spin out' the user's soul. These graves are often rich in terms of clothes and grave goods and include such things as amulets and charms, exotic jewellery, facial piercings, toe rings, and, in a handful of graves, even psychoactive drugs such as cannabis and henbane. How we might imagine these women's roles in society remains mysterious.

We also know of some royal female burials. Judith Jesch, mentioning the Oseberg boat burial (c. 834 CE) in which two women were buried in a lavishly decorated and furnished ship accompanied by lots of high-quality grave goods, explains how,

A few obviously royal burials that we have, such as Oseberg, cannot be mistaken for anything other than the monuments of persons with enormous status, wealth and power. Although they share characteristics with other Viking Age burials, they are really in a class of their own. (27)

Who exactly these women had been in life – queen and handmaiden, two aristocratic women related to each other, or otherwise – remains a puzzle but that at least one of them was of high status is beyond doubt.

Another woman of plentiful means was the late-9th-century CE Aud the 'deep-minded'. She is said to have been born to a Norwegian chieftain residing in the Hebrides and married a Viking who lived in Dublin. After the death of both her husband and son, she took over control of the family fortunes and arranged for a ship to take her and her granddaughters first to Orkney and the Faroes, to finally settle in Iceland. Here, she distributed land among her retinue, became an early Christian, as well as being remembered as one of Iceland's four most important settlers.

To top off the elite category, Viking Age queens existed, some on a smaller local scale (the big unified Scandinavian kingdoms did not fully crystallise until the end of the Viking Age), and some of them may have been very well-connected. All Viking Age women may, of course, have exercised influence through their husbands or sons – the more important they were, the more opportunities this might have entailed for the women at their sides.

Women As Settlers

In the wake of the Viking raids spilling across northern Europe and beyond, Viking territories sprung up as far apart as Greenland (and even Newfoundland in North America) and Russia. It is obvious that proper settlement is a hard thing to achieve without women, and female Viking Age burials – with their famous oval brooches – across these areas confirm their presence.

On the one hand, in the Vikings' initial raiding waves and military expeditions, it is both hard to picture women taking an active part and hard to find any evidence of this, although late-9th-century CE Anglo-Saxon and Frankish sources relate how Viking forces travelled together with their women and children, and archaeological finds at winter camps such as that at Torksey (England) reveal evidence of textile manufacture. Such families or camp-followers need not have been Scandinavian women, though the Viking armies raided both the continent and the British Isles and would likely have picked up at least some of the women from here. How common this scenario was is unclear, too.

On the other hand, more clarity arrives with the first proper settlement waves (times varied per Viking territory): Scandinavian immigrant families arrived in the British Isles in phases during the 9th and 10th centuries CE, while towards the end of the 9th century CE Iceland (and later, Greenland and beyond) were settled. These latter areas were fully Scandinavian (bar some influx of often female slaves, for example, taken from Ireland), while in the British Isles as well as through Russia there was more room for mixing with already-present people. On Orkney, for instance, the 9th- or early 10th-century CE burial of the so-called Westness Woman shows a Norse woman in her twenties along with her newborn child, buried with grave goods of a pair of bronze oval brooches as well as a Celtic pin among others. A rich Scandinavian female grave on the Isle of Man (the 'Pagan Lady of Peel') coupled with the c. 30 Christian runic monuments that are basically Celtic crosses with runic inscriptions (including both Norse and Celtic personal names) with Scandinavian-style ornamentation shows an even stronger image of a mixed community.

Warrior Women?

The famous Icelandic sagas of the 13th century CE, relaying stories set in the earlier Viking Age, add another possible layer of depth to the role of women they are shown as strong women taking action, stoking up revenge, standing up to their husbands or even engaging in fights. However, these sagas were composed way after the time they wrote about, from a different context, and it is too much of a stretch to directly extrapolate this image of women to the actual Viking Age.

Nevertheless, the 'strong Viking woman' runs wild in popular imagination. When Charlotte Hedenstierna‐Jonson published an article titled 'A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics' (2017), for instance, excitement seemed to overtake caution. The study discusses a Viking Age grave (Bj 581) found in Birka, Sweden in the 1800s CE, containing a skeleton alongside various weapons, horses and even a stallion seemingly the attributes of a warrior. The tested bones belonged to a woman, who was subsequently dubbed "the first confirmed female high‐ranking Viking warrior" (857) on the basis of there also being a set of gaming pieces present (which the authors equate to tactical and strategical knowledge).

Critics have noted that this assumption belongs more in the realm of speculation rather than actual fact. The skeleton had no traumatic injuries – not something one would expect from an active warrior – and showed no sign of strenuous physical activity. We must remind ourselves how difficult it is to link grave goods to a person's actual life – could this woman have been buried with this warrior's gear for another reason (perhaps symbolic)?

If more evidence along those lines comes to the fore regarding women, the story changes, but as of yet, it would appear the archaeological and historical evidence is not sufficient to confirm this Birka woman having been an active warrior. Here, too, the lives of women in the Viking Age remain more shrouded in mystery than that of their male counterparts.