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Thread: Ancient genomes from Iceland reveal the making of a human population

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    Ancient genomes from Iceland reveal the making of a human population

    Ancient genomes from Iceland reveal the making of a human population

    Abstract

    Opportunities to directly study the founding of a human population and its subsequent evolutionary history are rare. Using genome sequence data from 27 ancient Icelanders, we demonstrate that they are a combination of Norse, Gaelic, and admixed individuals. We further show that these ancient Icelanders are markedly more similar to their source populations in Scandinavia and the British-Irish Isles than to contemporary Icelanders, who have been shaped by 1100 years of extensive genetic drift. Finally, we report evidence of unequal contributions from the ancient founders to the contemporary Icelandic gene pool. These results provide detailed insights into the making of a human population that has proven extraordinarily useful for the discovery of genotype-phenotype associations.


    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/1028
    It's behind a paywall, but here's an article on the paper.


    Around 870 CE, Norsemen crossed the North Atlantic to reach Iceland, which they spent the next five decades colonising.


    Today, 1,100 years later, an international team of scientists have mapped the genetic material of these first generation Icelanders and they can now see how the Icelandic population has changed between then and now.

    "You're looking at the creation of the population," says geneticist Tom Gilbert from the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is one of the co-authors of the new study published in Science.

    The genetic material gives an insight into both the evolutionary mechanisms operating in a small, isolated population, as well as the history of the original population.

    "It's a really interesting study that confirms what we already know from historical sources, but also adds something new to the picture," says Matthew Driscoll, an expert in Icelandic language and literature at the Arnamagnaean Institute at the University of Copenhagen. Driscoll was not involved with the study.

    Professor Mikkel Heide Schierup from the Department of Bioinformatics at Aarhus University, Denmark, is also enthusiastic about the study.

    "Iceland's history is fascinating and here we have direct evidence of how the original population were and what has happened since," says Schierup, who was also not involved in the study.

    Genomes of the first Icelanders

    Scientists have now successfully mapped whole genomes from 27 Icelandic skeletons, which were discovered in previous archaeological excavations.

    Most of the skeletons date to the Viking Age, more than 1,000 years ago, and are considered to be from the first one to three generations of Icelanders.

    The genetics reveal that the first migrants were either Norse (from Norway or Sweden) or Gaelic (either Ireland or Scotland), or a mixture of the two.

    This fits with what researchers already knew: That the first Icelanders were Vikings, who brought slaves from the British Isles.

    Genetics add nuance to Iceland's history

    "It's interesting that one of the earliest Icelandic genomes was already a mixture of Norse and Gaelic DNA, which indicates that people were mixing before they arrived in Iceland, perhaps related to the Viking settlements in Ireland and Scotland," says Driscoll.

    The Vikings occupied Scotland and Ireland from the end of the 700s CE.

    One of the skeletons is a woman with Nordic genes, which shows that Norwegian women must have been among the early migrants.

    First Icelanders are more like Norwegians than present day Icelanders

    If you thought that Icelanders were the closest people, genetically speaking, to the original Vikings, then think again.

    Comparing the early Icelandic genomes with those of present day populations revealed an interesting picture.

    Surprisingly enough, people living in Iceland today are not the closest genetic match to the early Icelandic skeletons. Instead, the closest match was among people living in areas from where the colonists originated: Norway, Ireland, and Scotland.

    Despite the constant migrations to Norway and the British Isles over the past 1,000 years, it is these populations that have preserved more of the original genes than people in Iceland.

    Icelandic genomes, meanwhile, have changed markedly.

    Study based on genealogy, health registers, and genetic analyses

    The study was led by scientists at the Icelandic genetic research centre, deCODE Genetics, who have access to Icelandic genealogy, health registers, and genetic material.

    Today, deCODE is owned by the US biotech company, Amgen, with the view to create commercial products, such as new medicines.

    "This is why deCODE are interested in ancient genomes—it gives them a starting point for their work with modern day populations and disease," says Gilbert.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-scient...enome.html#jCp
    Last edited by Jovialis; 02-06-18 at 02:41.

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    Very interesting, the modern-day Icelandic population has experienced 1,100 years of genetic drift which has made them markedly different from the original settlers.

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    Very Intresting. Just looked at it on another site, there is also some H1 mtdna,and one H1c3'a', over a thousand years of age which seems not to far away from my own mtdna H1c3, as I understand DNA. H1c3 is also found in the Uk and Ireland, and it will be intresting to find out wether it came from these or more Northern area's.

    I intend to test my mtdna further, to see if I can reach even further back, as there is now two further deeper subclades, H1c3a and H1c3b. and H1c3a was found at the Vatnasdur boat burial I believe ( VDP-A6 ).

    Strange, and suprisingly, I used to work on the deep sea trawlers from Hull, UK, fishing around Iceland. I have huge respect for the viking explorers, as a result of my experience of the sea conditions up there, and it added to my love of their History, leading on to the interests in my own families history,via DNA research today.
    Last edited by paul333; 01-06-18 at 18:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Very interesting, the modern-day Icelandic population has experienced 1,100 years of genetic drift which has made them markedly different from the original settlers.
    It's not so, per example first Iberian and African colinizers of Dominica would match more their respective regions of origin that with actual mulattos.
    "What I've seen so far after my entire career chasing Indoeuropeans is that our solutions look tissue thin and our problems still look monumental" J.P.Mallory

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Very interesting, the modern-day Icelandic population has experienced 1,100 years of genetic drift which has made them markedly different from the original settlers.
    Great find, Jovialis. Genetic change is much quicker than I think most people realized.

    Ed. It's not all about admixture. There is also drift to consider, and you can get substantial drift in just 1000 years.
    Last edited by Angela; 01-06-18 at 20:35.


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    i don't know but isn't it already clear that the early settlers, who were probably not that mixed yet, were closer to modern populations that are also not that mixed? from what i read here only 1 of those 27 people was mixed?
    when they say that drift is the reason does that mean that some of the genetics of the earliest settlers was lost so the gene pool of those 27 individuals is more similar to that of the source populations than to modern islandic people?
    what is the relation between these people on individual and not population level?

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    Strange, I have the paper but when I try to upload it to Eupedia it says it's too big. :/

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    Here's a figure from the paper.

    The full text is available now:

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/1028.full

    http://science.sciencemag.org/conten...080.1527866256

    Edit: The link to the full paper works now, here's the right link.
    Last edited by Jovialis; 02-06-18 at 06:35.

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    ^^That's odd. Do they offer any explanation?

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    Here is a GEDmatch kit of a native from Iceland: T661186

    There are Celtic toponyms in Iceland - do you think they predate Viking colonization or date back to the same period? When Pytheas of Massalia visited Scotland around 330 BC, its inhabitants (Picts or other Celts) informed him about a land in the north, that he later called Thule. That was most probably Iceland, implying that Celts had discovered Iceland long before Vikings (if Thule was Iceland).

    In 56 BC Roman fleet of Julius Caesar fought a naval battle against Celtic fleet near the southern coast of what later became Bretagne (in 56 BC that part of Bretagne was inhabited by a tribe known as the Weneted). In his "Gallic Wars", Caesar left a unique description of Celtic ships:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/jcsr/dbg3.htm

    "(...) For their ships were built and equipped after this manner. The keels were somewhat flatter than those of our ships, whereby they could more easily encounter the shallows and the ebbing of the tide: the prows were raised very high, and, in like manner the sterns were adapted to the force of the waves and storms [which they were formed to sustain]. The ships were built wholly of oak, and designed to endure any force and violence whatever; the benches which were made of planks a foot in breadth, were fastened by iron spikes of the thickness of a man's thumb; the anchors were secured fast by iron chains instead of cables, and for sails they used skins and thin dressed leather. These [were used] either through their want of canvas and their ignorance of its application, or for this reason, which is more probable, that they thought that such storms of the ocean, and such violent gales of wind could not be resisted by sails, nor ships of such great burden be conveniently enough managed by them. The encounter of our fleet with these ships' was of such a nature that our fleet excelled in speed alone, and the plying of the oars; other things, considering the nature of the place [and] the violence of the storms, were more suitable and better adapted on their side; for neither could our ships injure theirs with their beaks (so great was their strength), nor on account of their height was a weapon easily cast up to them; and for the same reason they were less readily locked in by rocks. To this was added, that whenever a storm began to rage and they ran before the wind, they both could weather the storm more easily and heave to securely in the shallows, and when left by the tide feared nothing from rocks and shelves: the risk of all which things was much to be dreaded by our ships. (...)"

    This description shows that Ancient Celts were good seafarers and that their ships were well-adapted to conditions in northern seas. The naval battle in 56 BC took place in the Quiberon Bay, between 100 Roman galleys and 220 Celtic ships:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiberon_Bay

    Rome won that one thanks to using a clever fighting technique and exploiting weak points of the enemy:

    "(...) The bay has seen several important naval battles. The first recorded in history was the Battle of Morbihan in 56 BCE, between the Romans led by Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus and the local Veneti [Weneted] tribe. The Romans had struggled to overcome the Veneti, who had coastal fortresses that could easily be evacuated by their powerful navy. Eventually the Romans built galleys and met the Veneti sailing fleet in Quiberon Bay. Despite being outnumbered 220 to 100 by a fleet of heavier ships, the Romans used hooks on long poles to shred the halyards holding up the leather sails of the Veneti, leaving the Veneti fleet dead in the water (...)"

    Plutarch (ca. 40 - 120 AD) wrote also about another island located far to the west of Britain, bearing a name similar to the name of titan Kronos from Greek mythology. The Sea of Kronos is how later waters between Iceland and Greenland were referred too. So that could be Greenland (Greenland is of course a name invented much later, probably by Eric the Red, to attract settlers).

    Sagas (including the Saga of Eric the Red) mention the land of "Hvitramannaland" ("White Man's Land", Latin: "Albania") also known as "Írland it Mikla" ("Great Ireland", Latin: "Hibernia Maior") - located supposedly about six-day sail west from Ireland, and also not far away from Vínland (Vineland). Unless it was fictional, it could refer to some Celtic settlement existing in - perhaps - Greenland.

    In year 825, an Irish monk named Dicuil wrote "Liber de Mensura Orbis Terrae", in which we can find a detailed description of the Faroe Islands, and a claim that hermit monks from Ireland had lived in those islands for 100 years before the "Northmen pirates" took them. He also describes the island of Thule (Iceland), beyond the Faroes, and writes that Irish hermit monks had been staying on Thule during the summer months for 30 years (since around 795 - about one century before first Vikings settled in Iceland). But were there also settlers, or just monks? And if just monks, then why?

    The "Book of Settlements" (one of most important sources for early history of Iceland, alongside the "Book of Icelanders") claims that first Viking settlers in Iceland found traces of an earlier people, a Christian one, such as bells and crooks. Perhaps those were remains of hermitages of Irish monks.

    "The Voyage of Saint Brendan the Navigator", a story first recorded around year 900 AD, indicates that certain Brendan (born in 484 AD in Kerry county, Ireland) reached Iceland, Greenland, the island of Jan Mayen in the Arctic Ocean, and maybe even the coast of America.

    The Voyage of Saint Brendan is unique because it was recorded in 900 AD, before Viking travels to America took place. But there are more legends about Celtic travellers reaching America, such as this Welsh story about Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, who supposedly came to America in 1170:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madoc

    It is claimed that after 400 AD, when climate in the region started to gradually get warmer, Pictish and other Celtic sailors regularly visited Iceland, gathering exotic resources such as eiderdown, and exporting them to the Mediterranean world. For sea travels Picts and Britons were using wooden ships, while Irish people were using currachs, covered by bovine skins. Such ships could transport up to 20 people, they were propelled by sails and oars.

    "People of the West" (Vestmenn), as they were later called by Norsemen, probably visited Iceland already before 400 AD - findings of coins from that period may indicate this. On the other hand, coins produced long before 400 AD could get there long after that date too.

    But a more controversial issue is whether Celts actually established some settlements there or not (apart from some hermitages of monks). Farley Mowat in one of his books claimed that Eric the Red found an Irish house in Greenland.

    Celts contributed with some advancements in shipbuilding techniques in Northern Europe (check for example Ellmers, "Celtic plank boats and ships 500 BC - AD 1000" and Casson, "Ships and seamanship in the ancient world").

    A small archipelago of Vestmannaeyjar (near Iceland) is named so after Insular Celts, but the origins of this name are unclear. One theory is that it is relatively recent and comes from Celtic slaves who escaped from Viking captivity and settled there. So this is probably not a sign of Celtic settlement predating Viking settlement. There are some other Celtic toponyms in Iceland as well (for example Írafell, Írafellsbunga, Kjaransvík, etc.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Very interesting, the modern-day Icelandic population has experienced 1,100 years of genetic drift which has made them markedly different from the original settlers.
    if you took a person from iceland and one that is the result of recent mixing between scots and scandinavians, and has the same scandinavian and scottisch admixture relation, you probably wouldn't see much of a difference. they also both would have roughly the same relation to their source populations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Here is a GEDmatch kit of a native from Iceland: T661186
    There are Celtic toponyms in Iceland - do you think they predate Viking colonization or date back to the same period? When Pytheas of Massalia visited Scotland around 330 BC, its inhabitants (Picts or other Celts) informed him about a land in the north, that he later called Thule. That was most probably Iceland, implying that Celts had discovered Iceland long before Vikings (if Thule was Iceland).
    In 56 BC Roman fleet of Julius Caesar fought a naval battle against Celtic fleet near the southern coast of what later became Bretagne (in 56 BC that part of Bretagne was inhabited by a tribe known as the Weneted). In his "Gallic Wars", Caesar left a unique description of Celtic ships:
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/jcsr/dbg3.htm
    "(...) For their ships were built and equipped after this manner. The keels were somewhat flatter than those of our ships, whereby they could more easily encounter the shallows and the ebbing of the tide: the prows were raised very high, and, in like manner the sterns were adapted to the force of the waves and storms [which they were formed to sustain]. The ships were built wholly of oak, and designed to endure any force and violence whatever; the benches which were made of planks a foot in breadth, were fastened by iron spikes of the thickness of a man's thumb; the anchors were secured fast by iron chains instead of cables, and for sails they used skins and thin dressed leather. These [were used] either through their want of canvas and their ignorance of its application, or for this reason, which is more probable, that they thought that such storms of the ocean, and such violent gales of wind could not be resisted by sails, nor ships of such great burden be conveniently enough managed by them. The encounter of our fleet with these ships' was of such a nature that our fleet excelled in speed alone, and the plying of the oars; other things, considering the nature of the place [and] the violence of the storms, were more suitable and better adapted on their side; for neither could our ships injure theirs with their beaks (so great was their strength), nor on account of their height was a weapon easily cast up to them; and for the same reason they were less readily locked in by rocks. To this was added, that whenever a storm began to rage and they ran before the wind, they both could weather the storm more easily and heave to securely in the shallows, and when left by the tide feared nothing from rocks and shelves: the risk of all which things was much to be dreaded by our ships. (...)"
    This description shows that Ancient Celts were good seafarers and that their ships were well-adapted to conditions in northern seas. The naval battle in 56 BC took place in the Quiberon Bay, between 100 Roman galleys and 220 Celtic ships:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiberon_Bay
    Rome won that one thanks to using a clever fighting technique and exploiting weak points of the enemy:
    "(...) The bay has seen several important naval battles. The first recorded in history was the Battle of Morbihan in 56 BCE, between the Romans led by Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus and the local Veneti [Weneted] tribe. The Romans had struggled to overcome the Veneti, who had coastal fortresses that could easily be evacuated by their powerful navy. Eventually the Romans built galleys and met the Veneti sailing fleet in Quiberon Bay. Despite being outnumbered 220 to 100 by a fleet of heavier ships, the Romans used hooks on long poles to shred the halyards holding up the leather sails of the Veneti, leaving the Veneti fleet dead in the water (...)"
    Plutarch (ca. 40 - 120 AD) wrote also about another island located far to the west of Britain, bearing a name similar to the name of titan Kronos from Greek mythology. The Sea of Kronos is how later waters between Iceland and Greenland were referred too. So that could be Greenland (Greenland is of course a name invented much later, probably by Eric the Red, to attract settlers).
    Sagas (including the Saga of Eric the Red) mention the land of "Hvitramannaland" ("White Man's Land", Latin: "Albania") also known as "Írland it Mikla" ("Great Ireland", Latin: "Hibernia Maior") - located supposedly about six-day sail west from Ireland, and also not far away from Vínland (Vineland). Unless it was fictional, it could refer to some Celtic settlement existing in - perhaps - Greenland.
    In year 825, an Irish monk named Dicuil wrote "Liber de Mensura Orbis Terrae", in which we can find a detailed description of the Faroe Islands, and a claim that hermit monks from Ireland had lived in those islands for 100 years before the "Northmen pirates" took them. He also describes the island of Thule (Iceland), beyond the Faroes, and writes that Irish hermit monks had been staying on Thule during the summer months for 30 years (since around 795 - about one century before first Vikings settled in Iceland). But were there also settlers, or just monks? And if just monks, then why?
    The "Book of Settlements" (one of most important sources for early history of Iceland, alongside the "Book of Icelanders") claims that first Viking settlers in Iceland found traces of an earlier people, a Christian one, such as bells and crooks. Perhaps those were remains of hermitages of Irish monks.
    "The Voyage of Saint Brendan the Navigator", a story first recorded around year 900 AD, indicates that certain Brendan (born in 484 AD in Kerry county, Ireland) reached Iceland, Greenland, the island of Jan Mayen in the Arctic Ocean, and maybe even the coast of America.
    The Voyage of Saint Brendan is unique because it was recorded in 900 AD, before Viking travels to America took place. But there are more legends about Celtic travellers reaching America, such as this Welsh story about Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, who supposedly came to America in 1170:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madoc
    It is claimed that after 400 AD, when climate in the region started to gradually get warmer, Pictish and other Celtic sailors regularly visited Iceland, gathering exotic resources such as eiderdown, and exporting them to the Mediterranean world. For sea travels Picts and Britons were using wooden ships, while Irish people were using currachs, covered by bovine skins. Such ships could transport up to 20 people, they were propelled by sails and oars.
    "People of the West" (Vestmenn), as they were later called by Norsemen, probably visited Iceland already before 400 AD - findings of coins from that period may indicate this. On the other hand, coins produced long before 400 AD could get there long after that date too.
    But a more controversial issue is whether Celts actually established some settlements there or not (apart from some hermitages of monks). Farley Mowat in one of his books claimed that Eric the Red found an Irish house in Greenland.
    Celts contributed with some advancements in shipbuilding techniques in Northern Europe (check for example Ellmers, "Celtic plank boats and ships 500 BC - AD 1000" and Casson, "Ships and seamanship in the ancient world").
    A small archipelago of Vestmannaeyjar (near Iceland) is named so after Insular Celts, but the origins of this name are unclear. One theory is that it is relatively recent and comes from Celtic slaves who escaped from Viking captivity and settled there. So this is probably not a sign of Celtic settlement predating Viking settlement. There are some other Celtic toponyms in Iceland as well (for example Írafell, Írafellsbunga, Kjaransvík, etc.).
    Fascinating !

    If there were only Irish hermits in Iceland when the Scandinavians arrived, well... apparently, devout as they were, they were not sorry to see a few Norse girls come around. :)
    It is therefore worth while to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent and moderate our persuasion. (John Locke)

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    I suppose this would apply to my father-in-law's mt which is H1a3a

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    The opportunity to connect the threads as quickly and as constently based makes each challenge even more exciting. Thank you for making the search so much more enlightening. It's hard to stay focused when so many discoveries want my attention yet just knowing there more to come makes the curiosity burst with anticipation. The access that we have makes it even more captivating.

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    From what I recall, monks and hermits did, or were supposed to practice celibacy, but the regular parish priests did not, not until quite late and under increasing pressure from Rome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenjager View Post
    Geographic distribution of the ancestry in ancient Iceland
    Could you provide a link for this graphic? I couldn't find it in the study's supplementary figures.
    Last edited by Jovialis; 05-06-18 at 21:55. Reason: REMOVING A FAKE GRAPHIC

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    If modern Icelanders came face-to-face with their founding fathers, they’d be hard-pressed to see much family resemblance, according to a new study. That’s because today’s Icelanders have a much higher proportion of Scandinavian genes than their distant ancestors did, suggesting the islanders underwent a remarkably rapid genetic shift over the past thousand years.

    Previous studies have hinted as much based on inferences from modern genotypes, notes Jonathan Pritchard, a population geneticist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who wasn’t involved in the work. But the new findings offer a rare, direct glimpse of the founding of a new people. “I don’t think this has been shown before in any human population.”

    Medieval histories suggest Iceland was first settled between 870 C.E. and 930 C.E. by seafaring Vikings and the people they enslaved, who possessed a mélange of genes from what is now Norway and the British Isles. For the next thousand years, the population of Iceland remained relatively small and isolated, hovering between about 10,000 and 50,000. Impeccable genealogical records and broad genetic sampling have made Icelanders—who now number 330,000—a model population for geneticists hoping to connect the dots between gene variants and traits.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/...-genetic-shift

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Ancient human parallel lineages within North America contributed to a coastal expansion

    Founder effects in modern populations



    The genomes of ancient humans can reveal patterns of early human migration (see the Perspective by Achilli et al.). Iceland has a genetically distinct population, despite relatively recent settlement (∼1100 years ago). Ebenesersdóttir et al. examined the genomes of ancient Icelandic people, dating to near the colonization of Iceland, and compared them with modern day Icelandic populations. The ancient DNA revealed that the founders had Gaelic and Norse origins. Genetic drift since the initial settlement has left modern Icelanders with allele frequencies that are distinctive, although still skewed toward those of their Norse founders. Scheib et al. sequenced ancient genomes from the Channel Islands of California, USA, and Ontario, Canada. The ancient Ontario population was similar to other ancient North Americans, as well as to modern Algonquian-speaking Native Americans. In contrast, the California individuals were more like groups that now live in Mexico and South America. It appears that a genetic split and population isolation likely occurred during the Ice Age, but the peoples remixed at a later date.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6392/1024
    This is from another paper that came out on June 1st.

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    Interesting study. I guess what we see in specific Iceland is the effect of a (in our modern eyes) harsh and quite rigid social structure. Earl ('elite'), Karl ('middle class' 'free man') and thrall (slaves).

    In the founding period the slaves were disproportional Irish (Celtic). Wiki:
    When the Vikings established early Scandinavian Dublin in 841, they began a slave market that would come to sell slaves captured both in Ireland and other countries as distant as Spain,[4] as well as sending Irish slaves as far away as Iceland,[3] where Gaels formed 40% of the population,[5] and Anatolia.[6] In 875, Irish slaves in Iceland launched Europe's largest slave rebellion since the end of the Roman Empire, when Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson's slaves killed him and fled to Vestmannaeyjar.
    The Nores belonged disproportional to the earls and karls.

    And what I found out is that in the early middle ages the Nores seems to be quite discriminatoir too....some darkish features of some Celts were associated with thralls, lower social strata. At least according an academic essay of Jenny Jochens.

    So I guess this contributed to effect of 'ruling out'. The earls and karls were more prosperous, had better survival rates, combined with a kind of natural selection.

    I stress this is not my private worldview but that of the Germans/ Norwegians at that time I guess this contributed to the effect mentioned in the study (the genes of the Nores prevailed....).

    Som relevant works first about the poetic edda an than a summary of Jenny Jochens essay.

    Feel free to comment!





    Jenny Jochens



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    Quote Originally Posted by Northener View Post
    Interesting study. I guess what we see in specific Iceland is the effect of a (in our modern eyes) harsh and quite rigid social structure. Earl ('elite'), Karl ('middle class' 'free man') and thrall (slaves).

    In the founding period the slaves were disproportional Irish (Celtic). Wiki:

    The Nores belonged disproportional to the earls and karls.

    And what I found out is that in the early middle ages the Nores seems to be quite discriminatoir too....some darkish features of some Celts were associated with thralls, lower social strata. At least according an academic essay of Jenny Jochens.

    So I guess this contributed to effect of 'ruling out'. The earls and karls were more prosperous, had better survival rates, combined with a kind of natural selection.

    I stress this is not my private worldview but that of the Germans/ Norwegians at that time I guess this contributed to the effect mentioned in the study (the genes of the Nores prevailed....).

    Som relevant works first about the poetic edda an than a summary of Jenny Jochens essay.

    Feel free to comment!





    Jenny Jochens


    I think that's right, and not surprising. The Anglo Saxons in England and the Lombards in Italy were the same. There was none of the inclusiveness of the Romanization process.

    In terms of pigmentation, it's also not surprising that they would prize their own looks and disparage those of the people they conquered. We see that in the Rig Veda as well with another group of people. Perhaps in some sense it was easier to subjugate people if they de-humanized them. Then, because of the pigmentation difference, all sorts of values became attached to those differences. The effects continued for more than 2000 years, even on the descendants of the conquered. Bizarre when you think how much more "civilized" Celtic society was than their own at that time.

    What is also often forgotten by the general public, but not by scholars, is that the Vikings were known throughout Europe and beyond as slavers. That, along with stolen gold from churches, etc. was the main source of their wealth. (The Romans were master slavers as well, of course, but not all conquered people were made slaves. The local elites continued to hold power, as did their middle classes where they existed. You could also buy your way out of slavery, and accumulate wealth and power.)

    I guess in some cases you're going to be a more efficient slaver if you view the slaves as sub-human. Fewer moral concerns will get in the way. You can see that in the American south as well. In the beginning, blacks were really just indentured servants, not much different than Irish and English indentured servants. Sexual relationships occurred between African men and European women, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Melungeons. However, it soon became apparent that the "white" workers, as well as the Indians, couldn't hold up as well to the kind of labor in hot, humid climates which was required of them. This was happening at the same time as more and more land was cleared, requiring more and more slaves. The planters soon took the position that these people could never be allowed to acquire their freedom. Paradoxically, the closing of the slave trade, and the drying up of supply just intensified that point of view. That's when the real de-humanization and degradation of these people began. If they were in some sense not human, incapable of agency, then slavery became a "good". Amazing how the human mind can rationalize what is done to other people, and easier if they "look" different.

    What I find interesting from a genetics point of view is how quickly this kind of skewing can take place: from 50% to 30% in the space of 1000 years.

    It has wider implications as well. I've never been convinced that the steppe could have been home to enough people to account for "massive" migration and change in the genome. If you're entering into often empty territory, whether because it was difficult to sustain life there (the far north), or it was partly emptied by crop failures and plague brought by the migrants, and then there's selective advantage over thousands of years, then it all becomes much more likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Could you provide a link for this graphic? I couldn't find it in the study's supplementary figures.
    It's there. You should look again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    From what I recall, monks and hermits did, or were supposed to practice celibacy, but the regular parish priests did not, not until quite late and under increasing pressure from Rome.
    There are lots of Gaelic individuals (mixed/unadmixed) dated of pre-christian era in Iceland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I think that's right, and not surprising. The Anglo Saxons in England and the Lombards in Italy were the same. There was none of the inclusiveness of the Romanization process
    The settlement of Anglo-Saxons in Britain is poorly documented, but it's clear there was a process of Anglicisation in many areas outside of South-East England rather than outright replacement (hence why we don't all look like Danes or Germans), as well as adoption of certain native practices by the newcomers. Only when you get to the late-6th and early-7th century do you have reliable documentation of the politics of the period, and it's clear that the genealogies contain many distinctly British names (Cerdic, Caeawlin, Cenwalh, Cædwalla in Wessex) and that society in general was influenced by Gaelic practices further north (in Northumbria, where I live).

    Out of interest, I've noticed you make comments a few times now that were critical of the Lombards. What is it in particular that you dislike about them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenjager View Post
    It's there. You should look again.
    I have, and I do not see it. These are all the figures from the study:

    http://science.sciencemag.org/conten...sdottir-SM.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenjager View Post
    There are lots of Gaelic individuals (mixed/unadmixed) dated of pre-christian era in Iceland.
    That's interesting. Could you provide some sources for that? I mean of dates and indicia of "Gaelic" presence in Ireland pre-Norse migrations, and indications that is pre-Christian era as well.

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