The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah, everybody knew that.”

Well, we did and we didn’t. There’s this assumption that the typical Viking was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian. And according to this article, entitled, “VIKINGS MAY NOT BE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, DNA STUDY FINDS”, my ancestry is a little more far flung than I anticipated.

DNA tests were done on 442 humans buried in Viking fashion across Europe and Greenland, and it seems that there is a lot more Southern European and Asian DNA in the bloodline than was previously thought. In fact, you didn’t have to even have any Scandinavian blood to be considered a Viking. Some of the people buried in grand Viking style turned out to be pure Pictish, from Ireland and Scotland. So you could be welcomed into the fold regardless of your ancestry. It was more about belief and lifestyle.

I love learning this. I’ve always preferred the mutts of the world. They’re healthier and hardier and a lot more open-minded.

Incidentally, if you have Amazon Prime, I highly recommend the series Vikings. It was done by the History Channel, and many of the characters are actual Viking historical figures. The show can be violent, as one might expect, but it teaches you a lot about the Viking world. It constantly makes me Google more. For instance, I didn’t realize that the Vikings kept slaves. That makes me sad. But I’m learning a great deal about my people that I didn’t previously know.

But you know, my brown-haired, blue-eyed, Danish-descended self could have told those Scientists that not all Vikings were blondes. All they had to do was ask. Skol!

Check this out, y’all. I wrote a book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

3 thoughts on “The Vikings Sure Got Around

  1. Lyn says:

    The Vikings racial inclusiveness, as well as accepting women as warriors, seems socially enlightened until you realize much of their waring was against people, not threatening them, so they could steal riches and resources. Of course they’d accept anyone willing to be cannon fodder to reach their objectives. Both those dynamics still exist today, but dressed to seem like equal opportunities to serve in diplomatic acts of protecting all humanity. War is still a barbaric practice we’ve failed to evolve beyond, so is it any wonder that forms of slavery still exist? All this makes me sad, but glad the History Channel didn’t downplay the violence or slave practices while still highlighting positive aspects of the Viking culture. (Watched the whole series and checked some of it for historical accuracy. No evidence that Rollo was Ragnar’s brother but his true history is worth knowing.) We need to do a better job of teaching historical facts as determined by evidence, not biased narratives. Understanding and accepting past atrocities helps us overcome the dark aspects of our natures. Sweeping them under a rug hasn’t worked, as evidenced by where we are, socially and politically, today. Eventually the rug gets lifted and you have to confront all that dirt.

    1. It is definitely important to learn from history rather than repeat it. I think we’re just as brutal now, but our weapons allow us to do things at a distance. It’s easier to seem civilized when the blood doesn’t splash back at us. It’s all so complicated, isn’t it?

  2. Lyn says:

    I think it does splash back, but in such indirect ways it’s easier to turn a blind eye. Just because we choose not to see the blood, doesn’t stop it from staining our souls. We have repeated so many of histories mistakes that we negate the positive baby steps forward we struggle to make. Maybe we need to change the way we teach past and current history’s brutal lessons because we don’t seem to learn from the sugar coated versions we’re taught. What we don’t change, we choose.

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