Ancient DNA analysis debunks a toxic myth about Vikings

Visitors to Scandinavia shook up its genome, but only for a short time.

Underwater Kronan excavations
Lars Einarsson
The Viking Age

has been chronicled in countless books, movies, and TV shows, but that doesn’t mean our media-influenced picture of the period is the whole truth.

Nawrocki/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Like any culture in the distant past, there’s a lot we don’t know about Scandinavia during the Viking Age. A new study published in the journal Cell shows that even the ancestry of the Vikings isn’t as clear as we may believe.

Lars Einarsson