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Two Viking warriors reunited in Denmark after 1,000 years

Two Viking warriors from the same family, separated for around 1000 years, were reunited on Wednesday at Denmark’s National Museum.

Archaeologists were able to determine whether the two were related by DNA mapping of Viking skeletons. While the two were confirmed to be relatives, the Archaeology department said that identifying their exact relationship is impossible. Their assumption, however, is that they’ve been either half-brothers, a grandfather and grandchild, or an uncle and nephew.

The researchers carried out DNA analysis on skeletons from the eighth to the 12th century. Museum archeologist Jeanette Varberg said that their analysis has helped shed light on the Vikings’ movements across Europe. “This is a big discovery because now you can trace movements across space and time through a family,” Ms. Varberg told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

One of the two Vikings died in his 20s from head injuries in England in the 11th century, while the other died in his 50s in Denmark. His skeleton had traces of blows, indicating he had fought in battles, Ms. Varberg said.  

“It’s very difficult to tell if they lived in the same age or they differ maybe by a generation, because you have no material in the grave that can give a precise dating. So you have a margin of 50 years plus or minus,” she said.

The man in his 20s was buried in a mass grave in Oxford, and his remains were recently returned from there. Ms. Varberg and two colleagues spent over two hours yesterday piecing together his skeleton.

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