East Vikings had influence over wide areas in Baltic and pre-Russian regions. They had permanent strongholds in the area of present day Latvia and on the shores of Ladogan (Staraya Ladoga). Their east ways went through the Bay of Finland and Daugava river in Latvia, which was known earlier as Livonia (known also Dvina river and in Baltic Finnish languages Väinä-joki). Russian chronicles mention them as founders of the earliest Russian state. Some sources connect them to the Byzantine guard known as Varangians, but this information is contradictory. Anyway, it is shown that ancient military and traders from Scandinavia used to make long trips in a wide eastern area.
During those days it was difficult to make difference between aims of Viking trips. They can have been travellers, raiders, traders or even new settlers, or everything this at the same time. But who were they? New ancient samples give some answers. Almost 500 Viking era samples were publishes a few years ago. Were the a homogeneous group? Were they like present-day Scandinavians? My answer is yes, but also no, if we look at genetic picture of all southern Viking Age Swedes.
I made qpDstat tests for samples classified as Vikings, gathered from Sweden and the Baltic area. Mostly they were similar to present-day Scandinavians, but there are also exceptions. I found that samples from Sweden Upsala, Sweden Sigtuna and Gotland were exceptions. Those three had influence from the eastern seaside of the Baltic Sea. On the other hand samples from the Ladogan region and Viking remains found from Saaremaa (in western Estonia) were unambiguously of Scandinavian origin. My conclusion is that Upsala, Sigtuna and Gotland were international trading centres, while eastern travellers were typical Scandinavians and probably from the Southern Scandinavia. The heartland of Viking raiders was in Southern Scandinavia.
Dstat showing how modern Swedes match with Viking Age Scandinavian samples. Positive values mean that modern Swedes were closer to Viking Age Scandinavians than populations after ">"-mark were from the same Viking Age Scandinavians.
Dstat showing geographical Viking Age populations least similar to modern Swedes. Positive values show non-Scandinavian populations being closer to the Viking Age Scandinavians in title than modern Swedes are from the same Viking Age Scandinavian group.
Mauri is me. I have now a sample set fitting with the Human Origins data set and I can do high quality tests with it.