Tracing the genomic history of the Vikings
DNA research on human remains is changing the ways we understand human history. How is this research being done? What are its moments of difficulty and uncertainty?
The first results of the study indicate that:
"Our findings also show that Vikings are not simply a direct continuation of the Scandinavian Iron Age groups. Rather than simple continuity, we observe foreign gene flow from the south and east into Scandinavia, starting in the Iron Age, and continuing throughout the duration of the Viking period from an increasing number of sources. Our findings also contradict the myth of the Vikings as peoples of pure local Scandinavian ancestry. In fact, we found many Viking Age individuals with high levels of foreign ancestry, both within and outside Scandinavia, suggesting ongoing gene flow with different peoples across Europe. Indeed, it appears that some foreign peoples contributed more genetic ancestry to Scandinavia during this period than the Vikings contributed to them which could partially be due to smaller effective population size of the VA Scandinavians as opposed to their continental and British neighbors."
Read the full preprint article of the study.