Vikings in Russia: origins of the medieval inhabitants of Staraya Ladoga

  • T. Douglas PriceEmail author
  • Vyacheslav Moiseyev
  • Natalia Grigoreva
Original Paper


Isotopic analysis of strontium in human tooth enamel from 15 burials from the medieval St. Clement Church cemetery at the Russian site of Staraya Ladoga identified at least five non-local individuals with isotopic signatures that match the Malaren region of east-central Sweden. These were medieval Christian graves dating approximately to the eleventh to twelfth centuries AD. Staraya Ladoga, located 128 km east of St. Petersburg, was an important trading center during the Viking period in Scandinavia. Historical documents describe the town as a melting pot of local Russians, Slavs, and Scandinavians. The identification of individuals of Scandinavian origin among the burials confirms the historical and archeological record of an important Scandinavian presence at the site.


Archeology Russia Vikings Isotopic proveniencing Teeth Enamel 



Thanks to colleagues Paul Fullagar, Drew Coleman, and Ryan Mills at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for strontium isotope ratios and to David Dettman at the University of Arizona for the measurement of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios in the samples from Staraya Ladoga. Ashot Margaryan facilitated this research. This work was carried out within the framework of the Program of Fundamental Scientific Research of the Russian State Academies of Sciences, State Assignment No. 0184-2019-0006


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Archaeological ChemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Department of Slavonic and Finnish Archaeology, Institute for the History of Material CultureRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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