In 865 AD, the first large Scandinavian ‘army’ (commonly known as the Great Heathen Army) landed in East Anglia and soon captured the city of York.
Following these initially successes, additional Scandinavians arrived and settled along Britain’s eastern coast.
As the products of sexual reproduction, an individual Homo sapiens genetic profile is in fact a complex hybridization of the DNA received from their parents. In the case of humans, a male sperm carries 23 single chromosomes which will fertilize a female egg cell- which also contains 23 single chromosomes.
Together, each of these 23 single chromosomes ‘pair-up’ to form a single cell containing 23 pairs of chromosomes and a diploid cell (which is what a typical human eukaryotic cell is).
The first type in commonly referred to as intra-nuclear which is associated with the formation of chromosomes.
Chromosomes are the key loci of genetic information within a human cell, containing a complete copy of all of the genetic material and coding(s) necessary for the development of cells, tissues and organs. In effect, most eukaryotic cells (animal cells) contain a complete copy of all of the genetic information of their parent organism, thus a single leukocyte (white blood cell) or follicular stem cells (hair growing cells) can be utilized to examine the entire genetic profile of the organism from which they originated.
The Scandinavians were relative newcomers to the British Isles during the late Eighth and Ninth Centuries AD- having come after both the Saxons (Late Fourth through Fifth Centuries AD) and the Romans (First through Fourth Centuries AD). But both Romans and Saxons appear to have settled to the southern portion of Britain.While the overwhelming amount of genetic material is located within the nucleus, there is a small amount (less than 0.25 %) to be found outside, or extra-nuclear.This extra-nuclear DNA is associated with small, self- replicating organelles, know as mitochondria.Mitochondria are responsible for the conversion of glucose into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which powers the metabolism of the cell- often referred to as the ‘power house’ of the cell.Mitochondria are unique not only because they produce energy within the cell, but that they self-replicate via their own DNA which is stored within their own structures.It is possible that a decisive answer may never be obtained, but in light of the strong archaeological and genetic evidence, the Danelaw region was experiencing a significant influx of settlers apparently intent upon establishing permanent residence.In 2004, a Scandinavian hoard was discovered in Northwest England (Huxley), dated to around the year 900 AD.For the Romans, Hadrian’ Wall is generally accepted to mark the point of Roman expansion, while for the Saxons, conquest and settlements appear to have been concentrated along the Saxon Shore. The year 789 AD holds dubious distinction in English history, as it was the first known (and recorded) hostile action between Scandinavian raiders (Vikings) and the people of Portland (in Dorset). This relatively small band of 3 Norwegian longships (misidentified as Danish by English chroniclers) arrived, possibly for the purpose of trade, instead murdered the for unknown reasons and subsequently looted the town.English chroniclers would continue to note intermittent Viking raids of towns and monasteries along Britain’s northern coast for the until the mid 850’s AD.And as with phenotypic expressions of hair and eye color, DNA markers can be utilized to identify regional or ethnic origins- such as the use of haplogroup R1b to identify those of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. The same kind of markers in mt DNA can be utilized to identify regional and/or ethnic groups, yet unlike DNA, mt DNA mutations or variations do not manifest in visibly different characteristics between two groups (such as hair and eye color).In addition, mt DNA is not transferred by the male during sexual reproduction.