Archeologists to Study Pre-Settlement Hut in Iceland

The first archeological research in Iceland this year will begin at Hafnir in Reykjanes, southwest Iceland, on Monday. Archeologists will continue their study of a hut which may originate from 770-880 AD, the latter part of the Iron Age, and predate the historical settlement of Iceland in 874.
 
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The remains of the hut at Hafnir. Photo: Bjarni F. Einarsson.
 
Excavation has been ongoing in the area around the hut, which has been given the name Vogur, with intermission since 2003, Fréttablaðið reports.
 
Last summer archeologist Bjarni F. Einarsson revealed that carbon age analysis indicated that the hut may have been constructed in the aforementioned period, which garnered considerable attention.

Einarsson adds in an interview with Fréttabladid that C14 analysis indicates that the cabin was deserted between the years 770 to 880 AD, which seems to indicate that it was built “well before the ‘historical first settlement” in the year 874.

Einarsson says that his working theory is that it was an outpost from Northern Europe, Scandinavia or the British isles. Those men came to utilize the resources in Iceland: Birds, eggs, fish, whales and not least walrus teeth.

In Einarson’s view this means that settlement in Iceland developed from being an outpost, habited only part of the year into permanent settlement. “This replaces the myth of a long haired, angry king in Norway that drove the upper class to Iceland. It is complete gibberish and romanticized view of our origins that Icelanders are part of the Scandinavian upper class.”

Einarsson adds that old fables on the origin of settlement in Iceland have now been proved false. However, new theories will not easily make it into history books because of the natural conservative view of historians.

The research in Hafnir is not completed. This summer the middle part of the cabin will be dug up and the work concluded next year.

Not everyone agrees to this theory. Icelandreview.com will have more on the controversy in the near future.

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