DNA reveals the history of the Vikings

DNA reveals the history of the Vikings

Artistic impression of Vikings burying their dead in a mass grave. Science Picture Library / akg-images

Denial – analysis of nearly 300 genomes makes it possible to reconstruct how the purely Scandinavian population was enriched by the contribution of migration from several regions of Europe.

The disasters of the past are one of our best tools for understanding our history. Around the year 450 AD off the coast of Sweden, on the island of Öland, dozens of men, women and children were suddenly attacked at the Sandbyborg fortress.

The DNA of these founders has come to complement an already extensive collection of ancient genomes making it possible to better understand the history of Viking groups. A team from Stockholm University publishes a study in the journal cell (5 January 2023), which supplements our knowledge of migratory movements from northern Europe between 750 and 1050.

female migration

This work is a good complement to a study published in 2020 in the journal natureAnd Comments by Eva-Maria Gigel, paleontologist at the Institut Jacques Monod of the National Committee for Scientific Research in Paris. We know that the Vikings are not a nationality, but a profession. Thus, the ancestry of the people of central Sweden is very different from the people of the ports who have very international ancestry.

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