Post Greenland Vikings Had Celtic Blood

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Norsemen who settled in southern Greenland carried more Celtic than Nordic blood – but they were still decidedly Scandinavian





An analysis of DNA from a Viking gravesite near a 1000 year-old church
in southern Greenland shows that those buried there had strong Celtic
bloodlines, reported science website Videnskab.dk.



The analysis – performed by Danish researchers on bones from skeletons
found during excavations in south Greenland – revealed that the
settlers’ Nordic blood was mixed with Celtic blood, probably originating
from the British Isles.



Danish archaeologists are currently conducting the first regional study
of southern Greenland’s original settlers, whose colonies date back to
the year 985. The skeletons disinterred outside the old church also date
back to just a few years after that period.



‘The research results haven’t yet been published, but initial results
somewhat surprisingly suggest that the people in the graves were more
Celtic than Nordic,’ said Jette Arneborg, curator and senior scientist
at the National Museum, and one of the Danish archaeologists involved in
the project.



‘We’ve always known that Norsemen travelled a lot and we also know that
the early inhabitants of the Faroe Islands and Iceland had traces of
Celtic genes. But now we also have evidence of this in Greenland as
well,’ she added.



Although the DNA analysis reveals the inhabitants had Celtic blood in
their veins, Arneborg said there was no question that the settlers were
Nordic.



‘Everything these people did – their culture, means of nourishment and so on – was clearly Scandinavian,’ she said.



Earlier studies of populations living in the Faeroe Islands and Iceland
have shown that it was primarily the women who were of Celtic origin.



Arneborg said that indicated the Vikings may have come from Norway down
past the British Isles – where they took women with them – and then
continued on into the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and
Greenland

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