A Preliminary Report of the 2008 Midden Excavation at Skutustadir, N Iceland (field report)


In 2007, midden deposits associated with the 9th-19th c. archaeological site of Skutustadir in the Lake Myvatn District of N. Iceland were located. The remains were first noted by Arni Einarsson of the Myvatn Science Station and later, more extensively surveyed by CUNY archaeologists. In 2008, an international team lead by CUNY and FSI excavated three trenches and located midden deposits which are the subject of this preliminary zoooarchaeological report. The trenches exposed archaeological material which dates from the settlement age (871-930) through the early modern period (17th- 19thc.). This presents an opportunity for analysis of a long term settlement through zooarchaeology. The data thus far indicate that site residents herded sheep and cattle. Very scarce evidence suggests the presence of pigs and goats; however, more data needs to be collected on these species. Evidence of domestic fowl (chicken (Gallus gallus )), was found, distinguishing Skutustadir from other Myvatn area farms investigated to date. Migratory waterfowl were found as well as ptarmigan, a local terrestrial bird, and one example of a Sea Eagle. Fish bones recovered in the 2008 field season have not yet been fully analyzed, However, preliminary evidence suggests that both marine and freshwater species are present. In a preliminary check, cranial bones of marine fish were observed, indicating that at least some of the marine fish transported to the inland site at Skutustadir, were fresh (not the common, headless, dried fish product (Perdikaris & McGovern 2006). Seal bones are found at a low frequency, but consistently throughout the site.

Cite this Record

A Preliminary Report of the 2008 Midden Excavation at Skutustadir, N Iceland (field report). Megan T. Hicks, Ramona Harrison. CUNY Northern Science and Education Center, NABO, IPY 2007-10. 2008 ( tDAR id: 3255) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8GB2247

Spatial Coverage

min long: -24.5; min lat: 64.5 ; max long: -13.5; max lat: 66.56 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Konrad Śmiarowski

Record Identifiers

NORSEC Report No.(s): 45

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
skupreliminarynorsec09.pdf 535.60kb Oct 16, 2010 10:43:14 AM Public