Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
The genetic history of Scandinavia from the Roman Iron Age to the present.pdf (9.33 MB)

The genetic history of Scandinavia from the Roman Iron Age to the present

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 17:07 authored by Ricardo Rodríguez-Varela, Edmund GilbertEdmund Gilbert, Gianpiero CavalleriGianpiero Cavalleri, Anders Götherström
We investigate a 2,000-year genetic transect through Scandinavia spanning the Iron Age to the present, based on 48 new and 249 published ancient genomes and genotypes from 16,638 modern individuals. We find regional variation in the timing and magnitude of gene flow from three sources: the eastern Baltic, the British-Irish Isles, and southern Europe. British-Irish ancestry was widespread in Scandinavia from the Viking period, whereas eastern Baltic ancestry is more localized to Gotland and central Sweden. In some regions, a drop in current levels of external ancestry suggests that ancient immigrants contributed proportionately less to the modern Scandinavian gene pool than indicated by the ancestry of genomes from the Viking and Medieval periods. Finally, we show that a north-south genetic cline that characterizes modern Scandinavians is mainly due to the differential levels of Uralic ancestry and that this cline existed in the Viking Age and possibly earlier.


Science for Life Laboratory

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation

Swedish Research Council project ID 2019-00849_VR

ATLAS (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond)

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), grant number 16/RC/3948

European Regional Development Fund

FutureNeuro industry partners



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Rodríguez-Varela R. et al. The genetic history of Scandinavia from the Roman Iron Age to the present. Cell. 2023;186(1):32-46.e19

Publication Date

5 January 2023

PubMed ID



  • FutureNeuro Centre
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders


Elsevier BV


  • Published Version (Version of Record)