Well-Red Vikings sail in for festival

YORK’S annual Viking invasion has created a combination between Norse history and a traditional fairy story.

A key event in this year’s Jorvik Viking festival saw youth and experience come together when Phillip Sherman, of Booster Cushion Theatre, and several young helpers performed Eric the Red Riding Hood at the Early Music Centre, in Walmgate, York.

The play involves the heroine of the story encountering a myriad of characters in a humorous retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

The Flamborough Fire Festival, on New Year’s Eve, will see the ship – which has been built specially for the event this summer – burned as a new attraction for the event.

The festival will also include a torchlight procession and a move to the New Festival Arena, on the Village Green to accommodate more spectators than ever.

The Flamborough Fireballs – local Vikings who swing balls of fire around their heads – will also be in action, with families encouraged to join the celebrations, which are now in their fourth year.

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The Viking Journey of mice and men

New research carried out at the University of York and published in BMC Evolutionary Biology has used evolutionary techniques on modern day and ancestral mouse mitochondrial DNA to show that the timeline of mouse colonisation matches that of Viking invasion.

House mice (Mus musculus) happily live wherever there are humans. When populations of humans migrate the mice often travel with them.Human settlement history over the last 1000 years is reflected in the genetic sequence of mouse mitochondrial DNA

The Vikings in Iceland


During the Viking age (late 8th to mid 10th century) Vikings from Norway established colonies across Scotland, the Scottish islands, Ireland, and Isle of Man. They also explored the north Atlantic, settling in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Newfoundland and Greenland. While they intentionally took with them domestic animals such as horses, sheep, goats and chickens they also inadvertently carried pest species, including mice.
A multinational team of researchers from the UK, USA, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden used techniques designed to characterize genetic similarity, and hence the relatedness of one population, or one individual, with another, to determine a mouse colonisation timeline.