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"‘Viking’ was a job description, not a matter of heredity," Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2020 9:15 p.m. PST

…massive ancient DNA study shows

"It was a Viking saga written in genes. In 2008, construction work on an isolated Estonian beach near the town of Salme uncovered the skeletons of more than 40 powerfully built men. They were buried around 750 C.E. in two ships with Viking-style weapons and treasure—apparently the aftermath of a raid gone wrong. DNA from the bones has now added a poignant detail: Four of the men, buried shoulder to shoulder holding their swords, were brothers.

The new data come from a massive effort to sequence the DNA of Vikings across Europe. The results, published today in Nature, trace how the Vikings radiated across Europe from their Scandinavian homeland, and how people with roots elsewhere also took up Viking ways. "The big story is in line with what's told by archaeologists and historians," says Erika Hagelberg, an ancient DNA expert at the University of Oslo who was not part of the research team. "It's the small details of particular sites that are really compelling." The Estonian site, for example, offers powerful evidence that the crew was a tight-knit group from the same village or town. "Four brothers buried together is new and unique … [and] adds a new dimension," says Cat Jarman, an archaeologist working for the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, who was not part of the research team…"
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Legionarius02 Oct 2020 6:44 a.m. PST

Yes. Going "a-viking" was like "turning pirate." But most of those who did came from the same neighborhoods.

Pan Marek02 Oct 2020 6:55 a.m. PST

Its good for people to know, much like the "Byzantines" called themselves Romans, not "Byzantines". And the "Dark Ages" were not quite dark.

But really, in the end, its just semantics. We have to call them something. You can't call some ancient race, nation or era by massively long, multi word names.

We'd end up like the Soviets, with acronyms for the massively long, multi word names. You know, like NKVD

rvandusen Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2020 9:27 a.m. PST

A very good, though somewhat amusing study for those of us who have been reading avidly about the history and ethnography of Northern Europe for any significant amount of time.In short, the DNA revelations confirm what has been suspected all along. No surprises here. In all my years of devouring books on the Viking Age since 1980 or so, I have yet to encounter a single scholar that stated, or even implied, that Vikings were a monolithic phenomenon in the Early Medieval era. it has also long been known that the word "Viking," was not an ethic description, but an activity that warriors engaged in. Sea raiding was popular in those days, and was as likely to be engaged in by Celts or Slavs as it was Scandinavians, and if a Gael or a Wend wanted to join a band of Norse in sacking some coast or other then the more the merrier. And we're supposed to be taken aback by the revelation that some of the women buried in Norwegian graves were in fact British? Have any of the researchers heard of the Danelaw? These people were clearly capable of travel, so one would naturally expect that men would bring home women as wives or possibly slaves. I have a cynical suspicion that the researchers are deeply disappointed that none of the graves contained any DNA from South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2020 11:55 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend! (smile)


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