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Scientists raid DNA to explore Vikings’ genetic roots


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In popular imagination, Vikings were robust, flaxen-haired Scandinavian warriors who plundered the coastlines of northern Europe in sleek wooden battleships. 

Now, a sprawling ancient DNA study published today in the journal Nature is revealing the true genetic diversity of the people we call Vikings, confirming and enriching what historic and archaeological evidence has already suggested about this cosmopolitan and politically powerful group of traders and explorers.

The Nature study brings together genetic data from 442 humans whose remains date from around 2400 B.C. to A.D. 1600—all buried in areas where the Vikings are known to have expanded. Some were simply located in places, like Greenland, where they journeyed; others were buried along Scandinavian-style artifacts like coins, weapons, and even entire boats.

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It was a logistical challenge to bring together the hundreds of ancient samples, sourced from more than 80 archaeological sites in northern Europe, Italy, and Greenland. 

The DNA analysis revealed Vikings were a diverse bunch, with ancestry from hunter-gatherers, farmers, and populations from the Eurasian steppe. The research also pinpoints three major genetically diverse hot spots where people mixed with people from other regions during the era: One in what is now Denmark, and one each on the islands of Gotland and Öland, in what is now Sweden. 

“We even see people buried in Scotland with Viking swords and equipment that are genetically not Scandinavian at all.”

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Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/scientists-raid-viking-dna-explore-genetic-roots

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Economy

I dont find this surprising at all. What we think of a certain culture or nationaility or empire from long ago is always tainted and warped by entertainment and the specific things it focuses on

 

Of course not all vikings were gonna be strong and tall warriors. Of course like any other race theyd come in all shapes and sizes and of course they would have commoners and citizens that were just regular people like farmers, u cant run a society just on soldiers :toofunny:

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