Sat Dec 4, 8:47 AM ET
TEHRAN (Reuters) - These days Iranian women are not even allowed to watch men compete on the football field, but 2,000 years ago they could have been carving the boys to pieces on the battlefield.
DNA tests on the 2,000-year-old bones of a sword-wielding Iranian warrior have revealed the broad-framed skeleton belonged to woman, an archaeologist working in the northwestern city of Tabriz said on Saturday.
"Despite earlier comments that the warrior was a man because of the metal sword, DNA tests showed the skeleton inside the tomb belonged to a female warrior," Alireza Hojabri-Nobari told the Hambastegi newspaper.
He added that the tomb, which had all the trappings of a warrior's final resting place, was one of 109 and that DNA tests were being carried out on the other skeletons.
Hambastegi said other ancient tombs believed to belong to women warriors have been unearthed close to the Caspian Sea.