Monday, March 13, 2023

Review: Bones of Birka

 I did take an archeology course in college in upstate New York. We had a site where we dug for Native American artifacts. I loved it. So, when the offer came in to review this book, I jumped at the chance. I don't know much about Vikings, except for the common knowledge, but now I'm eager to learn more. 

How many female Viking warriors does it take to make a fact?

When archaeologist Dr. Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson discovers that the bones contained in the most significant Viking warrior grave ever opened are in fact female, she and her team upend centuries of historically accepted conclusions and ignite a furious debate around the reality of female Viking warriors and the role of gender in both ancient and modern times.

In The Bones of Birka, author C. M. Surrisi introduces young readers to the events that led up to this discovery and the impact it has had on scientists’ and historians’ views of gender roles in ancient societies and today. This is the inside account of the Birka warrior grave Bj 581 archaeological endeavor, including all of the dreams, setbacks, frustrations, excitement, politics, and personalities that went into this history-changing discovery.

The finding has raised crucial questions about research bias, academic dialogue, and gender identity. - summary from the publisher

My Thoughts: I admit this isn't my usual read. I don't generally read a lot of nonfiction - unless it's a craft/cook book or pop culture book. I liked this one. It was more scientific rather than narrative nonfiction - but it was really interesting.

It followed a logical timeline. I liked the questions it raised due to the gender reveal of the Viking grave. I loved how they explored the reactions around the world upon learning the bones were female - and how that changed some people's opinion of the grave and the Viking Culture. It does make you think...

* Book sent for review

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