Gudrid Torbjörnsdotter was, according to the Icelandic genealogy, one of the great sailors of the Middle Ages along with the most famous male Vikings such as Erik the Red and Lev Erickson.
– She came from very simple circumstances, her grandfather was a freed slave. But she still managed to make several amazing trips to the New World and become a great business woman, which earned him respect, says historian Bo Erickson.
Did the same thing happen to a man? Probably not.
Although Godred managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean 500 years earlier than Christopher Columbus, after which he also made a pilgrimage to the Vatican, it has been partially forgotten.
– She was remembered in fairy tales, but after the thirteenth century she did not live. I think the reason for this is that the expeditions are in the hands of eminent men. When Europe becomes a global superpower, Gudrid simply has no place, and it is forgotten. Would the same have happened if she were a man? Probably not, Bo Erickson says.
Archaeologist: “Come as a surprise”
For more than ten years, a small group of Icelandic and North American researchers have attempted to fully map Skagafjörður, an area in northern Iceland where many Vikings are believed to have lived. Recently, they discovered – by chance – Gudrid Farm next to two graves from the 1000s.
– Most of it is completely visible, a farmhouse still in ruins. But here so many layers of soil are deposited in the lowlands that you only see fields, says archaeologist Douglas Polinder.
See more about the legendary Vikings woman Godred in World History: The Great Adventurers of the Viking Age have begun now SVT playback.