Viking Mice on Madeira

A group of scientists have recently analysed some mouse remains on Madeira and shown them to come from (a) some time in the tenth century and (b) the mitochondrial DNA of the mice suggests a Scandanavian origin rather than a Portugese or Iberian origin.

This is actually quite neat, as, as far as we know, the Vikings seem not to have got to Galicia or further south along the Luisitanian coast until the mid ninth century. Around the same time they also sailed through the Straits of Gibraltar and raided the small Islamic state of Nekor.

I’ve not been able to find online any references to Viking raids on the Atlantc coast of Morocco, but it’s not impossible that some Vikings tried sailing south and found Madeira. The presence of mice does not of course mean that they did much more than overnight there, but nonetheless it’s quite interesting.

One wonders if there are records of a Viking presence in North Africa in as yet untranslated Arabic documents ?

Written with StackEdit.

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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