Viking DNA FAQ's

Ancient human remains from the Viking Age were excavated in a diverse set of archaeological sites within the current borders of the United Kingdom (including mainland Great Britain and the Orkney Islands), Ireland, Iceland, Denmark (mainland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland and Russia. The DNA data from 446 remains were used to derive distinct population models. We compare your DNA to these models in order to determine which population you are most similar to.

The Viking index tries to answer the question: "How much Viking DNA do you have?". This index shows the amount of DNA you share with the ancient Vikings that lived 1,000 years ago. First, the genetic similarities between your DNA and the DNA obtained from 446 ancient Viking samples are computed. This number shows how much DNA you share with Vikings when the particular part of the DNA which is different between the studied Vikings and non-Vikings is analysed. Then, in order to interpret and contextualise this calculation, we compare it to that of all Living DNA users, which gives you the Viking Index result. This allows you to see where your result falls in comparison to the whole range of Viking Indexes across the Living DNA user base. For example, if your Viking Index is 80%, this means that you have more Viking DNA than 80% of all Living DNA customers.

The Viking DNA Upgrade tells you how Viking your DNA is. We compare your DNA to Viking population models derived from the DNA of ancient Viking remains.

First, we provide you with your Viking Index score. This number shows how much DNA you share with Ancient Vikings when compared to the DNA of ancient Vikings and non-Vikings. In order to interpret and contextualise the result we then compare it to those of all Living DNA users. This allows you to see where your result falls in comparison to the whole range of Viking Indexes across the Living DNA user base. For example, if your Viking Index is 80%, this means that you have more Viking DNA than 80% of all Living DNA customers.

Second, we tell you which of the 4 Viking Population groups we've identified is most similar to your DNA. These Viking groups are Norwegian Vikings, Swedish and Danish Vikings, British and North Atlantic Vikings, and Eastern European Vikings.

We also provide a brief introduction to Viking history, and information specific to the Viking population that is your closest DNA match. This includes a map of the geographic region that your Viking population originated, and we provide a description of our methods and cite the published sources we have used.

The Viking DNA Upgrade will provide a result specific to the DNA of the user. As Vikings were European, users that do not have any European ancestry may not find their Viking DNA Upgrade results particularly meaningful to them.