Viking Gender Roles

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On June 8th 793ce foreign ships brought an unexpected surprise to the Lindisfarne monastery situated off the coast of England; the Northmen had arrived. This attack marked the beginning of the Viking Age, an era of raids that shook the western world until its end at the battle of Hastings in 1066. According to those on the receiving end of the raids these Northmen arrived and promptly the “heathen miserably destroyed God 's church by rapine and slaughter .” It is important to note that the Vikings had an oral tradition and no known sources exist depicting events from their perspective. There exists a less known side of the Viking Age and its society, one comprised of such aspects as the farmer, trader, craftsmen, and explorer. These possible…show more content…
The view of gender roles within Norse society within this time frame was inaccurate due to the incomplete and inaccurate documentation and portrayal of women which resulted in a skewed, and gender biased history. In opposition to this Dr. Lisa Bitel of the University of Southern California…show more content…
Jesch uses archaeological evidence, runic inscriptions, foreign chronicles, art of the time period, and various eddic and skaldic works. The book appeared to have an orderly format at first in which Jesch presents her evidence, from the most reliable to least until she states that “there is certainly a continuum and the different sources give different types of information about the Viking Age, but I do not necessarily subscribe to the view that ‘only archaeology can reveal the truth.” Jesch begins with an explanation as to how grave goods and burial sites are used to help determine the gender of the individual buried within in cases where the remains are incomplete, missing, or physical remains are degraded. She states that it was common practice to determine the sex of the individual on the basis of their grave goods. Often designating graves “with weapons and certain tools as male and those buried with jewelry and domestic implements as female.” In the rare cases where both the skeletal remains and grave goods are present it was determined that “about the only implements found exclusively in the graves of one sex are blacksmith’s tools in male graves.” Weapons such as spears,

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