Viking family identified using new DNA technology

Viking gravePhoto: Peder Gjersøe / SCANPIX
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New DNA technology has made it possible for researchers to prove kinship between two Viking skeletons – one that was found in Denmark and another in England.

Researchers were able to find the link between the two Danish Vikings who lived in the 1000s thanks to a combination of DNA technology and access to a wealth of materials.

The researchers suspected that the two, one was found in Otterup in Funen in Denmark in 2005, and the other was found in a mass grave in Oxford in England, were related.

With the help of the new technology, they have managed to prove the relation. The two Vikings were either half-brothers or uncle and nephew.

New method

“We know so much about DNA that we can start to find family relationships, due to the fact that we have so much material to research. That’s new,” research director Lasse Sørensen at the Danish National Museum noted.

He says that with traditional archaeological methods without DNA analysis, it would have been impossible to find out whether the two Vikings were related. 

Therefore, this finding is very special, and the researchers hope it will help advance our understanding of the Viking’s living conditions during the period.

The skeletons are part of the exhibition at the National Museum in Copenhagen, which opens on June 26.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "Viking family identified using new DNA technology"

  1. This analysis is truly groundbreaking, but the article omitted what for me would have been the most interesting aspect, this being what was it that lead the investigators to suspect a family relationship between the two sets of remains?

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