Viking Warrior Women on National Geographic: Writing a new Viking history with shocking discoveries

A new documentary from National Geographic is redefining everything that we thought we knew about Viking warrior history.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 27 November 2019 - 4.46pm
Documentary

National Geographic Channel

Eloisa Noble/National Geographic

Presented by Ella Al-Shamahi, this new film is part of National Geographic's Women of Impact season. And the significant event which has sparked the documentary is new cutting-edge facial recognition technology that has brought to life the face of a female fighter

Previously, it was presumed the grave in Norway couldn't belong to a warrior because it was a female's remains. However, new research unearthed a collection of deadly weaponry alongside the body and a sword wound on her skull, which the investigation team believe proves that this is the first confirmed Viking woman with a battle injury.

Here are three reasons you won't want to miss Viking Warrior Women…

1.       An archaeological bombshell

Ella Al-Shamahi in Viking Warrior Women Eloisa Noble/National Geographic

The significance of the discovery at the centre of Viking Warrior Women can't be underestimated. This is possibly the first ever face of a female Viking warrior, brought back to life.

Modern reconstruction skills aren't 100% accurate, but it is believed that it can create a picture that someone in real life would recognise.

This is the very latest cutting edge technology being used and it's a possible game changer for historians and archaeologists. The discovery could mean that previous archaeology sites needs to be reassessed and explored again, because all the old assumptions about only men being on the battlefield might have been a mistake.

2. A new chapter in history

Ella Al-Shamahi in Viking Warrior Women Eloisa Noble/National Geographic

For Viking Warrior Women, the identification of a female is only the start of this investigation. The show follows on from the discovery by exploring and recreating the weaponry and items buried alongside the warrior.

Could women really have fought alongside men in battle? The placement of bow and arrows at the burial site is the main theory explored in the film – with the suggestion being that women could have been long-distance killers and a match for men if they were fighting from afar and on horseback.

3. Ella Al-Shamahi

Ella Al-Shamahi in Viking Warrior Women Eloisa Noble/National Geographic

If a documentary can be made or broken by its presenter, Viking Warrior Women's success is sealed by Ella.

Her enthusiasm and passion for the subject oozes throughout the investigation and her excitement is infectious.

Whether she's wielding Viking weaponry or in the lab watching a female Viking warrior being brought to life with cutting-edge computer technology and forensic, Ella makes you believe this is only the beginning of a bigger journey.

Watch this if you liked…

Digging for Britain, Lost Cities With Albert Lin, Time Team, Origins: The Journey of Humankind, The Real Vikings, America’s Lost Vikings.

How to watch Viking Warrior Women

Viking Warrior Women airs on National Geographic on 3 December at 8pm

National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild are among the extra channels available on BT TV.

Watch National Geographic on BT TV channel 317/373 HD.

Catch up on episodes you miss on the BT Player and BT TV App.