I’ve been thinking about this, since I’ve been seeing it circulate everywhere, and I had a few thoughts to share with you folks.
The biggest one is that this article is still important, even if the sample size was small.The fact of the matter is that archaeologists have been identifying gender (and by extension sex because they classically assume all remains to be cissexual individuals) for years based on the artifacts found with a body.
The reason for this is that often it is impossible to identify sex from an archaeological skeleton because of decomposition. Identifying sex from a complete skeleton is fairly straightforward, but often the parts of the skeleton needed to do this are fragmented. In the scandinavian tradition, bodies are often cremated, completely destroying any hope of identifying the remains physically. (Ancient DNA is finicky just when you’re trying to nail down genus, let alone something like sex)
Even thought this is only one study with 13 bodies, I really hope this sparks further investigations. It should not be assumed that warriors were male simply by their tools, better surveys need to be made.
Lastly, although the sample was taken from a settlement, it’s worth noting that the division between “viking” (IE: pirate), trader, and settler is an artificial one. People were often all of those.