Normandy: “Skeletal shock for Norwegian researchers at Viking hunting”

This month we published our first results from the Rollo project in Normandy. This caused some interesting media coverage in France and Norway: Skeletal shock for Norwegian researchers at Viking hunting.


The team of collaborators by the tomb in Fécamp, Normandy

As you may know, we were earlier in 2016 able to open the tomb of Dukes Richard I and Richard II in Fécamp, Normandy. Our intention were to extract DNA of the two in order to learn more about the origin of the Viking chieftain Rollo, known as Gange-Rolf in Norway. However, we found out that the two skeletons were not related, and they are much older than anticipated. The condition of the skeletons were unfortunately very poor, and we were unable to obtain DNA.

The elder skeleton is actually from 3rd Century BC! This has caused quite a stir, and since the elder is from 1-2 centuries before the Roman conquest of the area, we are speculating if this could be the relic of a early Celtic chieftain. At the moment we have sent in a tooth for Strontium Isotop analysis, and we expect to know more about this issue soon.