Iceland, because of its small and homogenous population, was chosen to be the country to have its DNA mapped. There have been some surprises. 

According to the Vinland sagas, Icelanders discovered  North America and even established a settlement there in the middle ages, around the yaer 1000. The hostile Scraelings (American Iandians) forced the abandonment of the settlement.

What the sagas do not mention is not all the encounters with Scraelings were hostile. 

Mitochondria is passed only through the mother. According to an article in ABC, scientists have identified American Indian mitochondria in the Icelandic population.  An American Indian conceived a child by an Icelander and this child (and perhaps the mother) came back to Iceland. The mitochondria has been passed down from mother to daughter for forty generations. 

Rape? But fathers rarely cherish the child of rape. There seems to have been an affectionate relationship between an American Indian woman and an Icelandic man, perhaps even a marriage.

That was perhaps the first truly intimate encounter between the Old and New Worlds.  But we will never know. 

“Lamentablemente, las mujeres no escribían la historia”, apunta Carles Lalueza.


“Sadly, women don’t write the histories,” pointed out Carles Lalueza.

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