By Niall Firth
The discovery of a gene found in just 80 Icelanders links them with early Americans who may have been brought back to Iceland by Viking raiders.
The discovery means that the female slave was in Europe five centuries before Christopher Columbus first paraded American Indians through the streets in Spain after his epic voyage of discovery in 1492.
Because Iceland was isolated from the rest of the world from the 11th century onwards scientists speculate that the woman must have been taken from the Americas sometime around the year 1000.
The DNA lineage, named C1e, is mitochondrial–which means that the genes were introduced by a woman.
The unknown American woman was probably abducted from the Americas and then brought to Iceland after surviving the sea voyage back. She then bore children in her new home but nothing was ever written of her existence or fate.
For more on the subject, see What If Indians Conquered Europe? and Did Natives Conquer Europe First?