London (CNN)Blond-haired, Scandinavian warriors who pillaged their way through Europe.
We thought we knew everything about the Vikings. But some new research suggests we've been getting it wrong.
In the biggest study of its kind, published in the journal Nature Wednesday, researchers found that many Vikings actually had brown hair. And they weren't just from Scandinavia.
In a six-year study, archaeologists and academics used DNA technology to analyze more than 400 Viking skeletons from sites in Scandinavia, Greenland and the UK.
They discovered that Vikings didn't just hail from Scandinavia -- they also had genes from both Asia and Southern Europe in their bloodline.
The study, by academics at the University of Cambridge in the UK and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, found that Viking burial sites in Scotland contained local people who may have taken on "Viking identities."
Researchers say their findings shatter a lot of the preconceptions surrounding Vikings.
"The results change the perception of who a Viking actually was. The history books will need to be updated," said Eske Willerslev, a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge.
"We didn't know genetically what they actually looked like until now," Willerslev added.
He said the new research "debunks" the traditional image of blond Vikings, as "many had brown hair and were influenced by genetic influx from the outside of Scandinavia."
The study also revealed genetic differences between the various Viking populations within Scandinavia, which suggests different groups were more isolated than previously thought.