After about 1,000 years, two warriors Viking, members of the same family, reunited today (09/06) at the National Museum of Denmark, in Copenhagen. This fact sheds new light on their travels in Europe at that time.
In the early 11th century, one of them died in England, from a head injury, and was buried in a mass grave in Oxford. The latter breathed his last in Denmark and his skeleton bears marks of blows which suggest that he took part in battles.
From DNA analysis to skeletons of the Viking period (8th-12th century), it was found, quite by chance, that the two men were second-degree relatives.
“It is an important discovery because we can now detect movements, in space and time, through a family,” archaeologist Janet Varberg explained, according to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency.
The Oxfordshire Museum lent to the National Museum of Denmark the skeleton of a man found in England for a period of 3 years. Historians agree that the ancestors of present-day Danes invaded Scotland and England.
The man found in Oxford was about 20 years old when he was killed. He was probably wounded during a raid, but another theory is that he may have been killed when the King of England, Ethelred II, ordered the extermination of all Danes in his country in 1002.
According to Warbberg, it is very rare for scientists to discover kinships by examining the DNA of ancient skeletons, especially when they are not members of royal families.
The kinship of the two men is unquestionable, however, it is not possible to determine exactly what their relationship was.
“It is very difficult to say whether they lived at the same time or whether they belonged to different generations, because there is no evidence in the tombs that gives us an exact date. “We therefore have a dating margin of about 50 years,” the archaeologist explained.