Scientists from the Cambridge (UK) and Copenhagen universities (Denmark) found that in fact not all Vikings were Scandinavians. The skeletons found in some of Scotland's famous burial sites actually belonged to local people who were buried as Vikings. The refutation of popular myths about Scandinavian sailors is reported in an article published in the journal Nature.
Researchers have sequenced DNA extracted from 442 Viking skeletons buried in Europe and Greenland. Experts found that in reality, many Vikings did not have blonde, but brown hair. In addition, the Vikings were not only of Scandinavian origin, but also included people from Asia and southern Europe. The proportion of Scandinavian DNA among British residents was up to six percent, as Vikings also mingled with the people living on the raided lands.
For example, the skeletons of men from a Viking burial in the Orkney Islands (Scotland) did not actually belong to purebred Vikings, despite the fact that they were buried with swords and other Viking memorabilia. DNA analysis also revealed that the four Vikings buried in Estonia along with the boat were brothers, indicating that the expedition teams of the Scandinavian sailors included close relatives and residents of the same village or small town in Sweden.
Scandinavian sailors spread their culture, technology, language, beliefs and customs. Therefore, the Vikings could become people who do not have a genetic relationship with the Scandinavians.