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Decoding Viking Origins: Genetic Clues Paint a New Picture (Video)


The word "Viking" evokes vivid images of mighty, fair-haired seafarers pillaging coastal settlements. Yet is this portrayal an accurate reflection of their genetic makeup? Groundbreaking discoveries by evolutionary geneticists are revealing the hidden truths about these legendary figures. With the advent of ancient human genome sequencing, a vast trove of data emerged, allowing scientists to embark on an unprecedented exploration of our past. Over six years, researchers meticulously examined remains found at 80 archaeological sites, including Viking burials. Teeth and the remarkably well-preserved Petrous bone provided the ideal DNA samples for analysis.

Astonishingly, the largest-ever DNA analysis of Viking remains unveiled a complex mosaic of genetic origins. Contrary to popular belief, the Vikings carried genes from Southern Europe and Asia, far more diverse than previously imagined. Their extensive trade routes spanned from Canada to Afghanistan, resulting in a remarkable tapestry of physical appearances. The study challenges the notion of a homogeneous Scandinavian group, emphasizing the Viking identity as a social construct rather than solely determined by ethnicity. Through the lens of real science, this research transforms not only our understanding of the past but also our very sense of self and cultural identity.

Top image: Viking warrior. Source: Deivison / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell



I agree with the comment of Cataibh on 28 May.   Your text accompanying the video says that conclusions were taken from Viking burials.  It seems obvious that these burials were from later times in the Viking Age after Vikings had intermingled with local populations that they had conquered or invaded.  Your headline was misleading….there was nothing shown about the origins of Norse people or their Viking culture.    

Was that diversity largely the result of regular long distance trade, colonisation and conquest?

If so, it's hardly surprising.

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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