I appear to have more Viking blood than I ever imagined.

viking

My Y chromosome is Viking, with origins in Scandinavia. It is known as I1 (eye-one). My maternal grandfather’s group is R1a, also Viking. And now I have learned via 23 and Me that my mother’s mitochondrial DNA, part of group T1, may have come to England with the Vikings.

Although T1 is relatively rare in Europe today, it appears to have been much more common at some times in the past. Though it is present in only 2% of the modern English population, T1 was found at levels of 23% in DNA extracted from skeletons buried in Norwich, England during the 10th century AD.

But the complete absence of T1 even earlier, in DNA extracted from the skeletal remains of Anglo-Saxon Britons dating to the 5th and 6th centuries, suggests that the haplogroup did not arrive in England with the original agricultural expansion. It may have come with the Viking invaders who began menacing the coastal settlements of Britain and Ireland in AD 793.

ajh

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