Tuesday, September 25, 2012
DNA doesn't lie...
Got the results of the DNA testing yesterday...86% Scandinavian and 14% Eastern European (German). That means that my genealogy is accurate and that I've been imprinted with Viking genetic memory...
Scandinavian: Nothing but Viking blood in me. My genetic ethnicity ties you to Scandinavia, which includes the modern-day nations of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. While the Vikings were feared by the coastal towns of medieval Europe as seaborne raiders and violent pillagers, they were also well-travelled merchants and ambitious explorers. They raided the Mediterranean coast of Africa, settled areas as far south as the Black Sea, and traded with the Byzantine Empire. And it was a Norse sailor, Leif Ericson, who is credited with being the first European to travel to North America—500 years before Columbus.
And it wasn't just the Vikings who had an irrepressible urge for adventure. In the days of the mighty Roman Empire, the Goths, originally from Sweden, wandered south and settled in what is now eastern Germany. In the year 410, they invaded and sacked Rome, setting the stage for the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire.
In the more recent past, the Scandinavian nations have embraced a new identity. Considering their neutrality during the World Wars, high quality of life, and relatively egalitarian societies, they are known more for their peaceful ways than their ancient Viking lineage might suggest.
Migrations into this region
As the glaciers retreated from Northern Europe, roaming groups of hunter-gatherers from Southern Europe followed reindeer herds inland and marine resources along the Scandinavian coast. Neolithic farmers eventually settled the region beginning about 6,000 years ago. However, the tradition of hunting and reindeer-herding remains among the Sami people of northern Scandinavia. The Sami formerly occupied much of northern Scandinavia and Russia, and likely had connections with the Volga-Ural region (where there are other languages similar to Finnish and Sami).
Migrations from this region
The rise of the Viking culture spread Scandinavian ancestry far throughout Europe. Their earliest coastal voyages took them to Scotland, northeastern England and established the settlement of Dublin, Ireland. As their power continued to grow, the Vikings spread farther afield, down the Volga River in Russia, to the coast of France and Spain. But perhaps their most famous accomplishments were the oceanic voyages across the Atlantic, establishing villages in Iceland and Greenland and exploring the northern coast of Canada. Few, if any of the early Scandinavian settlers, are thought to have survived in the Americas. However, Iceland remains a flourishing post of Scandinavian language and culture.
Eastern European: which is a region stretching from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Mediterranean in the south. It consists primarily of former "Eastern Bloc" nations that were either aligned with or occupied by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—as well as Belarus and Ukraine were annexed directly into the USSR. While Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria were satellite states as members of the Warsaw Pact. Also part of the region are the nations of the former Yugoslavia—Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Albania and Greece sit at the southern end of the region, bordering the Mediterranean.
The area is considered by many ethnologists to be the homeland of the Slavic people. Most of the nations in the region speak a Slavic language, which spread north and east into Russia and south toward the Balkans in the 5th and 6th centuries.
Perhaps the most famous resident of the area is Greece. From the ancient Mycenaeans and the Homeric epics of the Trojan War to the famous cities of Athens and Thebes, the fearsome Spartans to Alexander the Great—Greek culture and history laid the foundation for Roman, European, and, ultimately, western culture as a whole.
In the 1400s, the Ottoman Turks conquered the remnants of the Byzantine Empire and throughout the 1500s expanded deep into Eastern Europe, occupying the entire southern region up to Hungary, Romania, and parts of Ukraine. As a result, there are scattered communities of Muslims in the southern countries, although Christianity is prevalent throughout the region.
Migrations into this region
After the Last Glacial Period 15,000 years ago, populations expanded onto the eastern European plain from the Balkans and Blacks Sea as ice and tundra retreated. These Eastern Europeans were the first of the Neolithic farming culture that entered the Balkans about 9,000 years ago from the Middle East. In fact, individuals from southeastern Europe have inherited a higher proportion of Middle Eastern ancestry than other European individuals. About 2,000-3,000 years ago, the ancestors of Magyars migrated from the Ural Mountains in Russia toward present-day Hungary. Although they contribute their unique language to the region, their genetic impact may have been small.
About 2,300 years ago, the height of the Eastern European influence may have been the rise of the Greeks and their Hellenistic empire following the death of Alexander the Great. Their empire encompassed Italy, Turkey and even stretched all the way to northern India. Among the southeastern populations, Greeks in particular share elevated ancestry with the Middle East, potentially due to relatively recent migrations.
at 12:56 PM