NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 6PM: the GCAS is thrilled to announce this year's first general meeting IN PERSON at the Roundup Lodge in San Lorenzo (Mimbres Valley) near the junction of Highways 152 and 35! Start at 6PM with your own plates/utensils/beverage & a dish for yourself or to share. Brief general meeting at 6:45 PM. Skip social time if you like but our Featured Speaker, the WNMU Museum's new Director and archaeologist, Danielle Romero, makes her presentation on Elk Ridge Ceramics at 7PM sharp. Danielle, a ceramics specialist with years of investigating Mimbres and other sites, will make her topic most engaging. Read more about Danielle here. In order to offer our members a safe and comfortable experience the GCAS follows CDC and New Mexico Department of Health guidelines for indoor gatherings including masking, distancing, and vaccinations. We recommend all attendees follow the same.

NEXT FIELD TRIP: Sunday, June 5, 2022 - Park Service-guided visit to TJ Ruin at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Meet at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center parking lot no later than 10:50 am, tour to begin at 11:00 am. Drive north on Highway 15/Pinos Altos Rd for about 45 miles from US 180 in Silver City. Drive can take as much as 2 hours! Site is reached via a short hike to the top of a 100 ft bluff. Site is not shaded! Dogs are not allowed on the site and cannot be left in vehicles or tied up in the parking lot. NOTE: the area is currently experiencing heavy smoke impacts from the Black Fire. Check this website and the Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm (Alerts) the day before/morning of the field trip to see current status of the field trip and area conditions. Remember, to protect vulnerable resources we offer our field trips to members only. Members’ invited guests are welcome, as long as they ride in that member’s vehicle.

Obsidian and Human Travel Patterns
Our Growing MAREC Family

Human Migration Patterns, DNA, and Vikings

Human genomeReaders of this here blog know that our basic policy is to focus upon archaeological developments in our own region because there's certainly plenty of it. However, readers also know that our policy includes an exception whenever news of advancements in DNA research is involved. Behold:

A 10-year DNA study of human remains from Viking-Age burials across Europe and beyond (generally, 750 CE - 1050 CE) is leading anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians to redefine who Vikings were. The DNA results revealed many cases of individual and group mobility, such as four brothers buried together in one Viking grave in Estonia, and a pair of cousins buried hundreds of miles apart from each other - one in Oxford, UK, and the other in Denmark. Additionally, the DNA results revealed that Vikings from certain areas preferred specific destinations for raiding and trading - refuting the traditional assumption that Vikings conducted their sailing expeditions wherever the winds of fortune carried them.

From the article:

Asterix-and-the-vikings.jpg-tm“We approached every place where we could see there should exist somehow an association with Vikings,” Willerslev says. Ultimately, the team was able to sequence 442 Viking Age genomes from as far afield as Italy, Ukraine, and the doomed Viking settlements of Greenland....The genetic details may...rewrite popular perceptions of Vikings, including their looks: Viking Age Scandinavians were more likely to have black hair than people living there today [Image on right: what Vikings did NOT look like - webmaster]. And comparing DNA and archaeology at individual sites suggests that for some in the Viking bands, “Viking” was a job description, not a matter of heredity.

...

The DNA has raised new questions, too. Study co-author and National Museum of Denmark archaeologist Jette Arneborg says DNA recovered from burials in Greenland shows a mix of Scandinavian men from what is now Norway and women from the British Isles. Yet the artifacts and burials look completely Scandinavian. The women “have British genes but we can’t see them in the archaeology,” she says. “The DNA is going to make us think more about what’s happening here.”

What does this DNA study mean for our corner of the world? It adds yet more support to the proposition that human beings have always moved around, frequently and far. It also means that we must keep an open mind and adjust our current perceptions from time to time of how culture, family ties, and choices of daily living affect migration, whether we're considering Vikings or Mimbreños.

Science is so cool.

/s/ webmaster

Comments

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S. Lavold

The Norwegian men & British Isles women mixture may be the results of Viking raids on the British Isles. Throughout mankind's history, people of all regions often abducted women and children from enemy settlements or encampments. If the women's DNA was just British Isles, then those women were probably recently abducted before being taken to Greenland. But if it was a mixture of Scandinavian and Brit DNA, then perhaps it was easier to take to Greenland females who were the offspring of the British female slaves that had previously been abducted because there would be less familial interference. Another possibility is that some of the Viking men had spent time in the Viking settlements that were later established on the British Isles.

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