Friday, March 22, 2024

Viking Bloodlines

For years, delving into my ancestry, tracing bloodlines, and exploring DNA matches has been an enriching journey. Unveiling connections to distant relatives and unraveling the tapestry of my lineage has been profoundly fascinating. One particular discovery stands out – a genetic link to a prestigious Viking woman of high status. The revelation not only deepens my understanding of my own heritage but also immerses me in the rich history and culture of the past. Each revelation is a testament to the enduring legacy of those who came before us, igniting a profound appreciation for the complexities of human history.

One of my DNA bloodline matches!
High Status Viking Woman 

The grave of the High Status Viking Woman VK544 was discovered in 2004 in the Dublin suburb of Finglas during construction work. The village of Finglas is thought to have originated as an early medieval monastery, which housed a scriptorium (a room set apart for writing, where manuscripts would have been copied) during the 9th century CE. VK544’s grave was located just outside the grounds of the medieval church.

Archaeologists who excavated VK544’s skeletal remains identified her as a female–her genetic sex was later confirmed via DNA analysis–who died between the ages of 25 and 35. They believe that she was of high-status, as she was buried with a number of elaborate burial goods, including a casket decorated with bone plaques and an unusually long comb made from an antler, and other copper ornaments.

Most notably, she was wearing a pair of oval brooches on each shoulder. The brooches were gilded, inlaid with silver wire, and featured images of animals with glass eyes. This style of brooch dates to the mid-9th century and was likely manufactured in Scandinavia.

DNA analysis revealed that VK544 had approximately 80% Norwegian-like ancestry, supporting the hypothesis that she, or her ancestors, were recent immigrants to Ireland.

VK544’s burial is considered unusual by archaeologists based on the high status grave goods she was buried with and the grave’s location near a Christian churchyard. It is also one of relatively few burials of female Vikings in Ireland from this time period.

COPYRIGHT 2007-2024 Patti Friday b.1959.

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