Study Shows A 900-Year Old Warrior Found In Finland Could Have Been Non-Binary

Posted by Sama in History On 25th April 2022
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The grave of a warrior almost 1000 years old has led to the speculation that the warrior might have identified as non-binary due to certain feminine traits found in the warrior's remains. A sword with a bronze handle was found inside, and other physical objects have discovered that point that the person inside the grave might have been a woman, if not a person 'whose gender identity may well have been non-binary'.

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A Finnish warrior almost 1000 years old has been found and a new study suggests that they may have been non-binary.

Over the past few years, the prevalence of the LGBTQ community and people identifying themselves as non-binary has been seen on a rise. Even though there is still a long way to go about it. 

Meanwhile, recent findings from a grave in Finland suggest that people in the Iron Age and Early Medieval communities may not have been as tied to gender roles as we may have thought.

Veronika Paschenko/The Finnish Heritage Agency
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Recent detail shared in a paper in the European Journal of Archaeology, researchers discovered the grave of a warrior in Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, Hattula, Finland, back in 1968.

A sword with a bronze handle was found inside, leading to the discovery of a grave with objects inside which suggest it may have been a woman, if not a person 'whose gender identity may well have been non-binary'.

press release from the University of Turku explains: "The jewellery inside the grave indicates that the buried individual was dressed in typical female clothing of the period.

Veronika Paschenko/The Finnish Heritage Agency
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"On the other hand, the person was buried with a sword - possibly two, according to some interpretations - which is often associated with masculinity."

In the past five decades since the discovery of the grave, it's been 'considered to be either a double burial of both a woman and a man, or alternatively, a weapon grave of a female, and therefore a proof of strong female leaders or even female warriors in the Late Iron Age Finland'.

Veronika Paschenko/The Finnish Heritage Agency
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Meanwhile, the study has confirmed the grave had only one person inside, who was 'wearing typical feminine clothes of the period and had a hiltless sword placed on their left hip'.

Apart from this, ancient analysis of the grave also suggests that the grave may have had a warrior who had sex-chromosomal aneuploidy XXY, i.e. the Klinefelter syndrome, meaning they were born with an extra X chromosome.

Ulla Moilanen, a doctoral candidate of archeology from the university, said this grave 'may be an example of an individual whose social identity settles outside the traditional division of genders'.

Veronika Paschenko/The Finnish Heritage Agency
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The press release explains: "If the characteristics of the Klinefelter syndrome have been evident on the person, they might not have been considered strictly a female or a male in the Early Middle Ages community.

"The abundant collection of objects buried in the grave is a proof that the person was not only accepted but also valued and respected."

Veronika Paschenko/The Finnish Heritage Agency
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