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DNA Analysis of the “Viste Individual” Is Underway

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Norway Viste migrationSTAVANGER, NORWAY—As part of a project to learn about prehistoric migration patterns in Scandinavia, scientists in a Swedish laboratory will attempt to extract and analyze DNA from the skull of “Viste Boy,” the 8,200-year-old remains of an adolescent discovered in southwestern Norway. They will also test 6,000-year-old human remains from Sømmevågen, which is also located in southern Norway, and other human bones that were discovered in the cave at Viste where “Viste Boy” was found. “It’s very exciting to have two Stone Age skeletons from areas that are as close to each other as Viste and Sømmevågen, but where there is approximately a 2,000-year age difference,” osteoarchaeologist Sean D. Denham from the Museum of Archaeology at the University of Stavanger said in a press release. The analysis may also reveal if Viste Boy is actually a girl. “It will be an exciting process, and the Viste Individual may require extra time as we know so little about its history since its discovery. Some preservation may be necessary, and we can actually see that one bone is not real. But we don’t know why, how, or when the copy was made,” added conservator Hege Hollund. To read about new findings regarding a well-known burial in Denmark, go to "Bronze Age Traveler."

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