DNA Analysis on a Viking-age boat grave from Sala hytta Västmanland, grave A2

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Arkeologiska forskningslaboratoriet

Author: Loey Alrawi; [2017]

Keywords: aDNA; Viking-age; migration; Västmanland; Sala hytta;

Abstract: Viking-age boat grave burials are a less common but still repeatedly used way to bury the dead during the late Iron Age. Boat burials are exceptional in many aspects, not only due to placing the individual in a boat with numerous burial gifts including animals, but also by burying the individual without prior cremation, a common practice during the Iron Age. The aim of this thesis is to genetically analyse inhumation boat graves and compare the genetic composition of the ancient individuals with modern populations through population genetic analyses. This will highlight these particular human remains in a mobility context. A total of 11 individuals was analysed, but only one yielded enough DNA for further statistical analyses. This one individual proved genetically exceptionally well preserved. The results clearly show that the individual (a female) has a genetic affinity to populations in northern Europe. However, the results do not discriminate between modern Baltic/Scandinavian populations, depending on the statistical test.

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