Viking DNA

LiveScience reports on the tantalizing possibility of creating a Jurassic Park for bearded boat-warriors:

Jorgen Dissing of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues say they retrieved the genetic material from the freshly sampled teeth of skeletons dating back to around A.D. 1000 and found at a non-Christian burial site called Galgedil on the Danish island of Funen.

Apparently, Dissing wanted to see how closely bands of Vikings were related (it turns out, about as related as a bunch of modern humans would be).

But the article also has the following evocative line:

Although “Viking” often refers to pirates and robbers at sea, recent research has indicated that the Vikings were also traders to the fishmongers of Europe.

“Cockles, men! Mussels and blood!”

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