New research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has provided clues as to where residents of present-day Scandinavia originated from.
The scientists found that Scandinavians came through Germany and Denmark to Norway about 11,500 years ago.
A second wave came from the northeast about 1,000 years later, traveling along present-day Norway’s west coast.
Scandinavia was among the last regions of Europe that became habitable. This happened after glaciers gave way to the land 10,000 years ago. At that point, the area attracted hunter-gatherers because of the ocean’s resources.
The researchers looked at seven individuals that had been excavated and compared their genetic makeup with that of people from different parts of Europe. Anne-Marian Snaaijer, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, studying some of of the bone samples
For the study, Norwegian and Swedish researchers analyzed DNA samples from the Norwegian coast and Swedish islands Stora Karlsö and Gotland.
The researchers looked at seven individuals that had been excavated and compared their genetic makeup with that of people from different parts of Europe.
Author Torsten Günther said: ‘People from the Norwegian south and west coast were genetically similar to populations east of the Baltic sea that came from today’s Russia.
‘People from eastern Scandinavia – present-day Sweden – were more genetically similar to populations from central and western Europe.’
Another author named Birgitte Skar said: ‘To understand the migration routes, it was essential to obtain data from the Norwegian individuals.’
The two groups of people who migrated to Scandinavia during this time were ‘genetically distinct’, according to study author Mattias Jakobsson.
Jakobsson said: ‘People from the south probably had blue eyes and dark skin, while those from the northeast had various eye colors and light skin.’
The study said: ‘The new immigrants that came from the northeast learned new boating and fishing skills to access marine resources, which offered their main source of food.
‘These researchers discovered that these immigrants also introduced new tools and innovative ways to produce them. This shift in material culture can now be linked to a particular migration wave.’
HOW DO RESEARCHERS CONFIRM ANCIENT MIGRATION PATTERNS?
A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has looked at Scandinavian migration patterns.
Researchers analyzed bone samples for the study that were 9,500 years old. They correspond with the Mesolithic Stone Age.
The samples were from Swedish islands and the Norwegian coast.
The study said: ‘The Norwegian skeletal remains from southern Norway are the oldest of the individuals studied.’
The scientists looked at other archaeological findings alongside the genetic data, considering aspects such as climate models that might have influenced migration routes and settlement patterns.
The scientists found that Scandinavians came through Germany and Denmark to Norway about 11,500 years ago. A second wave came from the northeast about 1,000 years later, traveling along present-day Norway’s west coast
The researchers concluded that lighter eye color and skin tone variations that are present in Scandinavia today were present at the time of the migrations.
‘We can assume this to be an indicator of climate adaptation,’ the study said.
The scientists behind the research said the new data will help them fill in the picture of Scandinavia’s history and also tell them much about the people who live there now.
‘Now we can explore more closely how the relationship between the original and new populations evolved,’ Skar said.
She added: ‘The original inhabitants were highly skilled and adventurous seafaring hunters, whereas the new population was originally an inland people.’