18 January 2013

American Indians in Viking Iceland? Yes, says DNA.

The Skálholt Map, a copy of a 16th century Icelandic map,
showing Norse lands and their discoveries in the Americas.
Geneticists have discovered 80 living Icelanders with mitochondrial-DNA (a type of DNA passed from mother to child) signatures similar to Native American Indians.  The evidence suggests that this DNA entered the Icelandic bloodlines around AD 1000, which means that early Viking explorers and settlers to the New World may have brought at least one Indian woman back to Iceland with them.  There are no suggestions in  the in historical records, such as the Icelandic sagas, that women were brought back to Icelandthis may indicate that there were many more voyages to Vinland and other points west than were recorded, and much more contact between Vikings and Skraelings (what the Norsemen called the Amerindians) than previously suggested.

No comments:

Post a Comment