When geneticists did DNA testing of the small, homogeneous, inter-related Icelandic population, they were surprised to find out that far from being 100% Viking as assumed, the Icelanders were 1/3.... Irish! These genes came from slaves raided from the Irish and Scottish coasts and brought to Iceland before 1100. Íris Sif Ragnarsdóttir by Étienne Ljóni Poisson, via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/otsebmi/2821846259/#
Viking History (Denmark). 'The Vikings were not just plunderers but successful traders, extraordinary mariners and insatiable explorers. Getting a feel for the Viking era is easy, whether visiting the ship-burial ground of Ladby, the Viking forts of Zealand, the longship workshops at Roskilde or the museums that seek to re-create the era with live re-enactments.' http://www.lonelyplanet.com/denmark
Exquisite details: ca. 950 Although a fragment, brooch terminal is artistically & technically one of the finest works to survive from the Viking. The silver sphere was hollow cast & virtually its entire surface decorated with niello - early Viking style known as Jellinge/Mammen. Raised, twisted gold wire forms a quatrefoil ring-knot pattern on a raised, circular gold panel. Two adjacent triangular gold panels are filled with studs & one has a medallion in its center w/ serpentine tendrils.