Revisiting the ‘Valkyries’: Armed Females in Viking Age Figurative Metalwork

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37718/CSA.2022.10

Keywords:

women, figurines, amulets, miniatures, weapons

Abstract

This paper offers an in-depth exploration of a group of small Viking Age figurines commonly referred to as ‘valkyries’ in Viking and Old Norse scholarship. After presenting an overview of the long research history pertaining to these finds and their varying definitions, this study re-analyses their various formal and stylistic features and proposes a new typological system based on a comprehensive investigation of the current find corpus. This is followed by a deconstruction and discussion of the ambiguous gender characteristics of the figurines and an exploration of the potential new avenues of their interpretation. The study is supplemented by detailed catalogues of all presently known finds of so-called armed ‘valkyrie’ figures as well as high-quality illustrations that demonstrate their great iconographic value for studies of Viking Age clothing, martial equipment and ritual behaviour.

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Published

2022-12-23

How to Cite

Gardela, L., Pentz, P. and Price, N. (2022) “Revisiting the ‘Valkyries’: Armed Females in Viking Age Figurative Metalwork”, Current Swedish Archaeology, 30, pp. 95–151. doi: 10.37718/CSA.2022.10.

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Research Articles