Because of these problems there is a tendency for

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as males. Because of these problems there is a tendency for females to beunder represented in cemeteries where the names of the deceased are notavailable.118These problems are likely to be exacerbated in cremations,where the same bones are required to ascribe sex but only small anddamaged pieces of bone remain. The problem of identifying the bonesnecessary for sexing, and then having a useable sample, can result in most113Biddle and Kjølbye-Biddle, ‘Repton and the Great Heathen Army’, pp.605.114Biddle and Kjølbye-Biddle, ‘Repton and the Great Heathen Army’, pp.606. The excavationreport discusses other probable Norse burials at Repton, but I have concentrated on those whereisotope analysis confirms that those buried did not spend their childhoods in England. Fur-thermore, these burials were chosen for isotope analysis as they were considered to be the most‘Norse’ based on grave-goods and burial style: Buddet al., ‘Investigating Population Movementby Stable Isotope Analysis’, p.137. For more on the diversity of male Norse warrior burials inEngland see Hadley, ‘Warriors, Heroes and Companions’, pp.2745.115Alexander, ‘A Viking Age Grave from Cambois’, pp.1015.116The brooches are discussed in Speed and Rogers, ‘A Burial of a Viking Woman at Adwick-le-Street, South Yorkshire’, pp.6475.117P.L. Geller, ‘Skeletal Analysis and Theoretical Complications’,World Archaeology37.4(2005),pp.597609, at p.598.118Walker, ‘Problems of Preservation and Sexism in Sexing’, pp.3540.The sex ratio of Norse migrants to eastern England349Early Medieval Europe201119(3)©2011Blackwell Publishing Ltd
cremations not being ascribed a sex.119Considering the problem of iden-tifying females, if there were any osteological sexing errors in the burialspresented in Table2they would be likely to lessen the number of femalesrecorded.Whilst it may be unwise to use such a small sample to presume thatthere were as many or almost as many female Norse settlers as male, theresults at least suggest that there were a greater number of female immi-grants than has usually been acknowledged. Indeed it provides somesupport to the suggestions of a substantial female Norse presence inEngland made by Margeson, Paterson and Kershaw based on jewelleryfinds.120An earlier example of migration from Scandinavia to easternEngland may be pertinent in this regard. Samples from twenty-fourindividuals from the fifth- to seventh-century cemetery at West Hesler-ton, North Yorkshire, were submitted to isotope analysis and all of thosewho had not spent their childhoods in Britain, a total of four individuals,wereallfemaleandprobablyfromScandinavia.121Theseresultsstrengthen the conclusion drawn from Table2that, contrary to thefindings of most previous scholarship, migrants were not necessarilyoverwhelmingly male. Even if the burials sexed by grave-goods in Table1are accepted as accurate and the results of both tables are combined,women make up six or possibly seven of the nineteen or twenty adultsrecorded, a not insubstantial proportion of approximately one-third ofsexed Norse burials.

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