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DNA analysis of Viking remains

Date: 18 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


The world’s largest DNA sequencing of Viking skeletons conducted by researchers claims to debunk the modern image of Vikings as having blonde hair and reveals that not all of them were from Scandinavia.



Vikings are Scandinavian seafaring pirates and traders who raided and settled in many parts of north-western Europe in the 8th–11th centuries.



  • The researchers carried out DNA sequencing on more than 400 Viking skeletons of men, women, children and babies from archaeological sites spread across Europe and Greenland to understand the global influence of their expansion.

  • The study reveals that skeletons from famous Viking burial sites in Scotland were local people who could have taken on Viking identities and, therefore, were buried as them.

  • It found that Viking identity was not limited to Scandinavian genetic ancestry and that Scandinavia’s genetic history itself was influenced by foreign genes from Asia and Southern Europe before the Viking Age started.

  • The study also confirms the large-scale movement of the Vikings outside Scandinavia. For instance, the movement of Vikings from present day Denmark to England, from Sweden to the Baltic countries and from Norway to Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Greenland.

  • The word Viking comes from the Scandinavian term “Vikingr”, which means pirate. The Vikage Age refers to the period between AD 800 until the 1050s.

  • The Vikings played an important role in changing the political and genetic course of Europe. Further, the Vikings also exported ideas, technologies, language, beliefs and practices to other places.

  • As of today, six percent of people in the UK are predicted to have Viking DNA in their genes as compared to 10 percent in Sweden.

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