We’ve had all these little hints over the years, now here’s the confirmation. Viking expansion funneled greater genetic diversity into Scandinavia, according to new study published in the journal Nature.
“The ongoing exchange of goods, people and ideas encouraged Vikings to interact with populations across Europe—a trend evidenced by the new survey, which found relatively homogenous genetic information in Scandinavian locations like mid-Norway and Jutland but high amounts of genetic heterogeneity in trade hubs such as the Swedish islands of Gotland and Öland.”
In the face of racial-purity nuts, I’ve joked for years that my Viking ancestors surely brought back exotic wives and concubines from all over Europe. Because my ancestors were Swedish, they would have viked over to Russia and down to the slave markets of Byzantium. I’d be surprised if a lot of that diversity didn’t make it back home.
- Tara Wu. “Sweeping DNA Survey Highlights Vikings’ Surprising Genetic Diversity.” Smithsonian Magazine <smithsonianmag.com>, Sept. 18, 2020.