Viking DNA from Sigtuna


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Genomic and Strontium Isotope Variation Reveal Immigration Patterns in a Viking Age Town:


"(...) We present genome-wide sequence data from 23 individuals from the 10th to 12th century Swedish town of Sigtuna. The data revealed high genetic diversity among the early urban residents. The observed variation exceeds the genetic diversity in distinct modern-day and Iron Age groups of central and northern Europe. Strontium isotope data suggest mixed local and non-local origin of the townspeople. Our results uncover the social system underlying the urbanization process of the Viking World of which mobility was an intricate part and was comparable between males and females. The inhabitants of Sigtuna were heterogeneous in their genetic affinities, probably reflecting both close and distant connections through an established network, confirming that early urbanization processes in northern Europe were driven by migration."

Genetic Variation of Ancient Individuals from Sigtuna, PCA graph:

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Sigtuna is located in Sweden:

"(...) The town of Sigtuna in eastern central Sweden was one of the pioneer urban hubs in the vast and complex communicative network of the Viking world (Figure 1A). The town that is thought to have been royally founded was planned and organized as a formal administrative center and was an important focal point for the establishment of Christianity [19]. The material culture in Sigtuna indicates that the town had intense international contacts and hosted several cemeteries with a Christian character (Figure 1B; Tables S1 and S2). Some of them may have been used by kin-based groups or by people sharing the same sociocultural background. (...)"
Samples called "Sigtuna outliers" are the ones with autosomally Non-Germanic results.
Sample ID Location/Burial Site Genome Coverage mtDNA Genome Coverage Mol. Sex mtDNA Haplogroup Y Chromosome Haplogroup
84001 cemetery 1 (Nunnan) ×3.7 ×108.2 XY H2a2a1g N1a1a1a1a1 (N-L392∗)
84005 cemetery 1 (Nunnan) ×1.03 ×132.2 XY H1ap1 I1a1b3 (I-Z74∗)
84035 cemetery 1 (Nunnan) ×0.2 ×149.6 XX H2a3a –
nuf002 cemetery 1 (Nunnan) ×0.16 ×44.1 XY T1a1j ND
kls001 cemetery 2 (Kålsängen) ×0.13 ×11.8 XY H1b1 R1∗ (R-M173∗)
kal006 cemetery 3 (Kållandet) ×1.2 ×87 XX V7a –
kal009 cemetery 3 (Kållandet) ×0.19 ×124.4 XX T2f1 –
2072 cemetery 4 (Bensinst.) ×0.01 ×1.5 XY U ND
bns023 cemetery 4 (Bensinst.) ×0.02 ×3.7 XX H4a1a3a –
gtm021 cemetery 4 (Götes Mack) ×0.43 ×34.1 XX H5 –
gtm127 cemetery 4 (Götes Mack) ×0.06 ×11.1 XX H1a3a –
97002 mass grave (St. Lars) ×0.12 ×27.7 XY J2a1a (0.6) R1b (R-312∗)
97026 mass grave (St. Lars) ×0.08 ×87.6 XY U5a2a1 ND
97029 mass grave (St. Lars) ×0.07 ×34.2 XY J1c2 ND
stg020 church 1 (St. Gertrud) ×0.18 ×59.4 XX T2 –
stg021 church 1 (St. Gertrud) ×3.4 ×136 XX J1d1b1 –
stg026 church 1 (St. Gertrud) ×0.61 ×367.2 XX J1c2k –
grt035 church 1 (St. Gertrud) ×3.2 ×279 XY H G2a2 (G-L1259∗)
grt036 church 1 (St. Gertrud) ×2.2 ×247.8 XY H13a1a5 I2a2/2b (I-M436∗)
urm045 church 1 (Urmakaren) ×0.09 ×74.7 XY H1a8 ND
urm160 church 1 (Urmakaren) ×1.3 ×299 XY H1q R1b1a2a1a1 (R-L11∗)
urm161 church 1 (Urmakaren) ×0.08 ×19.6 XY T1 (0.4) A2′3′4
urm035 church 1 (Urmakaren) ×0.26 ×240.3 XY H2a1c BCDEF
This R1a is the outlier in the PCA who plots between Ukrainians and Hungarians:

Polish people with very Slavic R1a subclades (such as the one found in this Sigtuna outlier from Cemetery 2) often have Scandinavian Y-DNA matches. Example is user Radek from Polish history forum, whose closest matches are from Norway and Sweden.

And he has a clearly Slavic subclade of R1a-L1029:

Moje najblizsze match'e Big Y pochodza z Norwegii (1. miejsce) oraz Szwecji (2. i 3. miejsce). Jak interpretowac te wyniki?

[English: My closest Big Y matches [he has R1a-L1029] come from Norway and Sweden. How to interpret these results?]

Czy ma to zwiazek z bliskimi stosunkami skandynawsko-slowianskimi przed XI w. (e.g. link1, link2, link3)?

There exists some Slavic Y-DNA in modern Scandinavia. As well as mtDNA, as user Kristiina from Anthrogenica once pointed out:

Study about Denmark confirms this type of admixture:

It has been known for a while from archaeology, written sources (the Sagas, "Gesta Danorum" by Saxo Grammaticus, etc.) and strontium isotopes:


Now genetic evidence only confirms all other forms of evidence (including also Slavic toponymy in some parts of Denmark).
Finally some Viking-age genomes! It's fascinating to see the high heterogeneity of the population in Sigtuna at the time.

Also interesting is the complete absence of mtDNA haplogroups K, I, W and X, and the very low frequency of U. But that could just be a sampling bias.
GEDmatch Genesis kit numbers:

Sigtuna 84001 (from Nunnan cemetery): TF4194471

Sigtuna grt035 (from St. Gertrud cemetery): ML9385881
It is so cool!
My parents are from Ukraine, so I can be partly viking)
Is kls001 in YP331* (not somewhere downstream in Y5973.2 and YP1361)? I'm curious, because I am YP331* too.
Finally some Viking-age genomes! It's fascinating to see the high heterogeneity of the population in Sigtuna at the time.

Also interesting is the complete absence of mtDNA haplogroups K, I, W and X, and the very low frequency of U. But that could just be a sampling bias.

It's just because notable figures are those that we "dig up", and there'll almost always be a greater proportion of immigrants or descendants thereof amongst the notable than the overall populace (as they are more likely to be of status to immigrate) - unless there's a massive demographic-changing migration wave which there clearly wasn't. You'd find something similar if you went to Highgate cemetery compared to any random village. Or at least that's what I think - archaeologically this diversity doesn't make sense to be widespread.

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