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Natural Environment How Human History has been impacted by the environment, science, nature, geography, weather, and natural phenomena


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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:22 AM   #1

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Lack of Viking DNA in England


There was a study lately showing there is little Norse DNA in England. Most is Saxon, with a large Celtic portion.

But even though the Vikings raped and pillaged (well everybody did in some measure then, right?) the Great Heathen Army was only maybe a few thousand men at best. maybe 10,000 tops. And in the 9th century, the English kingdoms must have had a far larger population, in the high hundreds of thousands I'd guess.

It cannot be surprising then, can it, that there is little Norse DNA. This also suggests that in the Danelaw period (about 40 years tops) there was little immigration from Norway or Denmark to affect this. It may be possible then that the many placenames in northern England with -by, -thwaite, -toft, or -ness, were just Heathen Army soldiers settling down or farms and settlements set up by Jarls to gain produce and control the local population (most of which was still ethnically English).
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:36 AM   #2
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Here's an article about the study.

https://www.newscientist.com/article...t-not-its-dna/
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:38 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
There was a study lately showing there is little Norse DNA in England. Most is Saxon, with a large Celtic portion.

But even though the Vikings raped and pillaged (well everybody did in some measure then, right?) the Great Heathen Army was only maybe a few thousand men at best. maybe 10,000 tops. And in the 9th century, the English kingdoms must have had a far larger population, in the high hundreds of thousands I'd guess.

It cannot be surprising then, can it, that there is little Norse DNA. This also suggests that in the Danelaw period (about 40 years tops) there was little immigration from Norway or Denmark to affect this. It may be possible then that the many placenames in northern England with -by, -thwaite, -toft, or -ness, were just Heathen Army soldiers settling down or farms and settlements set up by Jarls to gain produce and control the local population (most of which was still ethnically English).
Do you mean the Oxford Uni/Wellcome Trust study published in Mar 2015?
It showed that most English heritage was not Anglo-Saxon either.
Professor (Peter Donnelly) from the study, speaks about the surprise findings in this podcast.

The UK's genetic structure revealed - podcast
The first fine-scale genetic map of any country in the world is published

http://www.theguardian.com/science/a...-solar-eclipse

Last edited by Sindane; January 2nd, 2016 at 02:14 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:40 AM   #4
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^^ The link is broken.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 12:47 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by Haakbus View Post
^^ The link is broken.
Have fixed it. It is well worth a listen. (I think it was authun who first posted it on here, back when the study was first published)

Last edited by Sindane; January 2nd, 2016 at 02:06 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 06:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
There was a study lately showing there is little Norse DNA in England. Most is Saxon, with a large Celtic portion.

But even though the Vikings raped and pillaged (well everybody did in some measure then, right?) the Great Heathen Army was only maybe a few thousand men at best. maybe 10,000 tops. And in the 9th century, the English kingdoms must have had a far larger population, in the high hundreds of thousands I'd guess.

It cannot be surprising then, can it, that there is little Norse DNA. This also suggests that in the Danelaw period (about 40 years tops) there was little immigration from Norway or Denmark to affect this. It may be possible then that the many placenames in northern England with -by, -thwaite, -toft, or -ness, were just Heathen Army soldiers settling down or farms and settlements set up by Jarls to gain produce and control the local population (most of which was still ethnically English).
This study was undertaken a few years ago & shows the Norse gene was prevalent amoungst almost 50% of men in my part of the country i.e. Wirral

A new Norse saga! DNA detectives in the Viking North West ? University of Leicester
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 07:05 AM   #7

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it appears fairly complex but not especially surprising.New Study Examines Genetic Structure of British Population | Genetics | Sci-News.com
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 07:11 AM   #8

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note the study distinguishes Danes from "norse".

Quote:
According to the scientists, “the majority of eastern, central and southern England is made up of a single, relatively homogeneous, genetic group with a significant DNA contribution from Anglo-Saxon migrations (10-40 percent of total ancestry). This settles a historical controversy in showing that the Anglo-Saxons intermarried with, rather than replaced, the existing populations.”
Quote:
“The population in Orkney emerged as the most genetically distinct, with 25 percent of DNA coming from Norwegian ancestors. This shows clearly that the Norse Viking invasion (9th century) did not simply replace the indigenous Orkney population.”
Quote:
There is no obvious genetic signature of the Danish Vikings, who controlled large parts of England from the 9th century.
-- which may be due to not settling down or because the "genetic signature" isn't that distinct (how different were the Danes of the 9th century?) Were the Danes simply not genetically different from the Angles & Saxons, etc?
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 09:46 AM   #9
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My paternal line came from around Bolton in Lancashire. It was 'invaded' by Flemish weavers in the 16th century fleeing religious persecution. There's good chance one of my paternal ancestors was a 'Belgium bastard'.

It seems the Anglo-Saxons grabbed pockets of the best land to settle, driving off or killing the former inhabitants. But significant numbers of 'Welshmen' remained in the less desirable lands.

Last edited by Mr Higson; January 2nd, 2016 at 09:54 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 09:57 AM   #10

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Like in the case of most migrations/invasions like this, we're looking at a few drops in a sea, a few thousands among millions. Usually the real impact is cultural.
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