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Sep 11, 9:54 AM EDT

Scientists say DNA tests on a skeleton found in a lavish Viking warrior's grave in Sweden show the remains are those of a woman in her 30s


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Scientists say DNA tests on a skeleton found in a lavish Viking warrior's grave in Sweden show the remains are those of a woman in her 30s

BERLIN (AP) -- Scientists say DNA tests on a skeleton found in a lavish Viking warrior's grave in Sweden show the remains are those of a woman in her 30s.

While bone experts had long suspected the remains belong to a woman, the idea had previously been dismissed despite other accounts supporting the existence of female Viking warriors.

Swedish researchers used new methods to analyze genetic material from the 1,000-year-old bones at a Viking-era site known as Birka, near Stockholm.

Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University said Monday the tests show "it is definitely a woman."

Hedenstierna-Jonson said the grave is particularly well-furnished, with a sword, shields, various other weapons and horses.

Writing in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the researchers say it's the first confirmed remains of a high-ranking female Viking warrior.

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