Viking Ships

The shipbuilding skills of the Vikings were amazing.  With the discovery of the Oseberg ship - and others - we can see not only the ships, and their treasures, but images of how the Vikings viewed themselves.  In a way, the ships are the equivalent of unearthing Pharaonic tombs (and everything buried within them).

Technologically advanced, the Vikings must have instilled fear in the minds of people whom they were about to invade.  One can only imagine what it must have been like to look out at a harbor and see a fleet of Viking ships approaching.

When the Vikings arrived in Britain, where did they go?  Were they satisfied to raid and plunder, then return to their own lands?  Or - did some of the Vikings stay?  If they stayed, how would we know?

The Human Genome Project was helpful in tracking what some of the Vikings did when they arrived in Britain.  The "Y" chromosome, passed from father to son, provides a backwards path for scientists to determine where the Vikings stayed - if they did - after landing in Britain.  As long as the male line is unbroken, scientists can follow the trail back for many generations.

What did the studies reveal?  At least one interesting fact has emerged, and it focuses on a fairly rare genetic disease which impacts a person's hands.  Vikings were believed to have this condition, and it persists - to this day - in Northern (but not Southern) Europe. 

Both Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had the hand condition - which can be treated by releasing the tendons - prompting a question:  Were they descended from Vikings?

See, also:

Vikings Invade England

Vikings at Anglesey

Vikings and Their Settlements

Media Credits

Clip from the 2001 BBC series - "Blood of Vikings" ("First Blood" episode), presented by Julian Richards - online courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the series.


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"Viking Ships" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Nov 20, 2019.
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