Half of the inhabitants of a Swedish Viking city were immigrants

ArchaeologistSWEDEN. Archaeologist who works.Photo Bengt A Lundberg / SCANPIX SVERIGE

It is not only today that populations move on. Both Norwegians and Danes are found to have been important in the Viking town of Sigtuna, outside of Stockholm.


“People moved intensively between population centers like Riga,Kiev and Ribe. That way, today’s population movements are not unique,’’ said Anders Götherström, professor of molecular archeology at the University of Stockholm.

Sigtuna was founded in 980 and became one of Sweden’s very first cities.The city was one of Europe’s most important trading venues in the Viking era, which led to a very international community.

“It was like a Viking Scandinavian Shanghai or London,” stated the professor.

The study Götherström has contributed to is published in the scientific journal, Current Biology. It shows that as many as half of the city’s inhabitants were immigrants from other countries, such as Norway,Denmark, Britain, Ukraine, Lithuania, North Germany and other parts of Central Europe.

The study is part of the larger ATLAS project, which maps northern European genetics. It was found that there is a great misunderstanding that one would find something that is isolated in the original language.Pure Swedish genes, the researchers have not found.

“Swedish is not genetic,we have added parts from all over the world.

And the more genetics we map, the more we see that humans have moved all the time,’’ said Götherström.

The study is based on analyses of the remains of 38 people who lived and died in Sigtuna during the period from approximately 900 to 1,100.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today