Blonde Vikings? Not really…


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“The Vikings had a lot more genes from Southern and Eastern Europe than we anticipated. They frequently had children with people from other parts of the world. In fact, they also tend to be dark-haired rather than blond, which is otherwise consider an established Viking trait,” says Eske Willerslev…

However, the Viking’s diverse genome doesn’t just stem from people from elsewhere traveling to their settlements. In fact, they were avid travelers, and historically, we know them best for their plundering and murdering raids abroad. But this genetic study sheds new light on who went where.

“The Danish Vikings went to England, while the Swedish Vikings went to the Baltic, and the Norwegian Vikings went to Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland. However, the Vikings from these three ‘nations’ only very rarely mixed genetically. Perhaps they were enemies or perhaps there is some other valid explanation. We just don’t know…”

Shucks. There goes another movie role for blonde weightlifters.

8 thoughts on “Blonde Vikings? Not really…

  1. Stýrismaðr says:

    Archaeologists Discover Two New Viking Ship Burials In Denmark — With Help From A 400-Year-Old Drawing https://allthatsinteresting.com/kalvestene-viking-ship-burials
    Viking ship burials shrouded in mystery https://news.flinders.edu.au/blog/2021/05/20/viking-ship-burials-shrouded-in-mystery/
    The Kalvestene: A reevaluation of the ship settings on the Danish island of Hjarnø https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15564894.2021.1900955?journalCode=uica20

  2. Valhöll says:

    Roughly a thousand years ago, a young man in his early 20s met a violent end in England. 800 kilometers (500 miles) away, in Denmark, an older man who had survived a lifetime of battles died sometime in his 50s. At first glance, there’s nothing to suggest a connection between them over such a distance. But according to a recent study of their DNA, the two men were second-degree relatives: half-siblings, uncle and nephew, or grandfather and grandson. https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/ancient-dna-finds-family-ties-between-viking-age-warriors/
    From June 26, the pair of skeletons are to be publicly displayed at the National Museum in Copenhagen as part of an exhibition titled “Togtet,” Danish for “The Raid.” https://en.natmus.dk/museums-and-palaces/the-national-museum-of-denmark/exhibitions/join-the-vikings-on-raid/

  3. Huginn and Muninn says:

    Viking remains, which date to between 1050 and 1300, were buried with both male and female objects, suggesting a highly-regarded member of society with a non-binary gender identity. https://allthatsinteresting.com/suontaka-intersex-viking-warrior
    The researchers note in their study: “The binary division of sexes is arguably rooted in a modern, western mindset, and gendered norms and expectations have varied culturally, geographically, and temporally.”
    “A Woman with a Sword? – Weapon Grave at Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, Finland” https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-journal-of-archaeology/article/woman-with-a-sword-weapon-grave-at-suontaka-vesitorninmaki-finland/33A89DB1D7E4900F017833D87C997D3D

  4. Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson says:

    It’s long been known that the Vikings were the first Europeans to make the long journey to the Americas, arriving in what is now Canada sometime around the end of the first millennium.
    But a new article in the journal Nature is the first to pinpoint a precise date: 1021, exactly 1,000 years ago — beating the arrival of Christopher Columbus by nearly 500 years.
    The research comes from the only confirmed Norse archeological site in the Americas outside of Greenland, a settlement on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland called L’Anse aux Meadows. https://www.npr.org/2021/10/21/1047797376/researchers-discovered-the-date-vikings-arrived-in-canada
    Nature: “Evidence for European presence in the Americas in ad 1021” (Oct 20, 2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03972-8

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