Viking history enthusiasts gathered in 2007 on the borders of Normandy.


Robert François AFP

The Vikings, tall blondes with fair skin?

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found that the genetics, skin color and hair of the warriors of the North are much more varied than previously thought.

Their work, published this week in the scientific journal Nature, highlights "the genetic diversity in Scandinavia and the fact that individuals in the Viking Age were not all Scandinavian" genetically speaking, Ashot summarized Thursday for AFP Margaryan, senior lecturer at the University of Copenhagen who co-signed the study.

Genome and bone fragments

“Viking Scandinavia had more dark-haired people than contemporary Scandinavia,” he explained, due to contributions from southern and eastern Europe, although blondes remained in the majority.

Researchers sequenced the genome of 442 Viking-era bone fragments - between the 8th and 12th centuries - from across Europe.

They determined that significant brewing had taken place at that time in southern Scandinavia, certainly due to trade but also slavery, according to the researcher.

According to the study, which confirms the historical consensus on the matter, the ancestors of the Norwegians mainly went to Ireland, Iceland and Greenland, those of the Swedes to the present-day Baltic countries while the Danes of the time invested the Scotland and England.


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