Research indicates that a woman from the North American continent probably arrived in Iceland some time around 1000AD leaving behind genes that are reflected in about 80 Icelanders today.
Investigators discovered the genes could be traced to common ancestors in the south of Iceland, near the Vatnaj Kull glacier in around 1710 ruling out initial theories that they may have arrived via Asia.
“As the island was practically isolated from the 10th century onwards, the most probable hypothesis is that these genes correspond to an Amerindian woman who was taken from America by the Vikings some time around the year 1000,” Carles Lalueza-Fox, of the Pompeu Fabra university in Spain, said.
A Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, in the eastern Canadian region of Terranova, is thought to date to the 11th century.
Researchers said they would keep trying to determine when the Amerindian genes first arrived in Iceland and would seek to link them to burial remains in the Americas.