Vikings could have been Family Men

Vikings could have been Family Men

According to a new study on ancient Viking DNA, there is a possibility that Vikings might have been family men and wives traveled with them to new lands. Scientists found that maternal DNA that was collected from ancient Norsemen closely matched with DNA of modern-day people living in the North Atlantic isles, mainly from the Orkney and Shetland Islands.

According to the findings, to colonize new lands, Viking men and women both traveled on ships. The popular notion of Vikings as glorified hoodlums with imposing seafaring skills was also challenged by the new study.

"It overthrows this 19th century idea that the Vikings were just raiders and pillagers. They established settlements and grew crops, and trade was very, very important", said study co-author Erika Hagelberg, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oslo in Norway.

Vikings created far-flung trade ways and also they had reached the shores of present-day America. They settled in new lands and the modern city of Dublin, which was called Dyfflin by the Vikings.

According to some previous studies, Viking males traveled alone and after that they brought local women with them when they established in a new place. The team of researchers studied DNA carried in the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cell.

The study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics in 2001, said when Norse men colonized Iceland then they brought Gaelic women.

To understand more about Norse colonization patterns, researchers extracted teeth and shaved off small wedges of long bones from 45 Norse skeletons. The skeletons were dated between AD 796 and AD 1066. First, the skeletons were discovered in several places around Norway and now they are kept in the Schreiner Collection at the University of Oslo.