Archaeological investigations in Mývatnssveit 2007 (Field Report)

Editor(s): Orri Vésteinsson

Year: 2008


In 2006 a campaign of major archaeological excavations in Mývatnssveit, the area around Lake Mývatn in NE-Iceland, wound to a close with the completion of fieldwork at Hrísheimar and Sveigakot. Together with the excavation of Hofstaðir, which was completed in 2002, these formed the backbone of extensive archaeological fieldwork focused on the Lake Mývatn area which had begun in 1991, and which became subsequently known as the Landscapes of Settlements project. In addition to the three large scale excavations an archaeological survey for Skútustaðahreppur (the district of the Mývatn community) was carried out in 1996-1999 followed by a number of smaller scale excavations aimed at dating (Brenna, Oddastaðir, Stöng, við Víðiker) and retrieval of faunal assemblages (Steinbogi, Selhagi) in 2001-2002. Alongside the conventional archaeological investigations an extensive program of palaeoenvironmental research has been conducted as a part of the Landscapes of Settlement project.

Since 2002 the project has extended its geographical range to include the eastern part of the region of Suður-Þingeyjarsýsla and various off-shoot projects have developed, building on the experience and extensive data sets generated by the Mývatn investigations. These include a survey of a complex system of earthworks, a program of identification of pagan burial sites resulting in successful excavation of grave-fields in Daðastaðir, Litlu-Núpar and Saltvík, intensive surveying of abandoned valleys in Þegjandadalur and Krókdalur, and investigations of assembly sites in Þingey and Skuldaþingsey. Many of these latter projects have been made possible because of support from Hið þingeyska fornleifafélag, the local archaeological association, but the bulk of the funding for the Mývatn investigations was provided by Rannís, The Icelandic Centre for Research, and the National Science Foundation.

This report describes results of additional survey, trenching and coring. Results of surveys for pagan burials carried out concomitantly by Adolf Friðriksson and of soil accumulation directed by Ian Simpson will be reported separately. The 2007 fieldwork was unsuccessful in one aspect in that the GPS station brought to map the sites broke down. New maps were produced for Geldingatættur and Selholt using tapes and hand-held GPS, but for the others the maps generated for the 1996-97 survey report remain the only ones available.

Cite this Record

Archaeological investigations in Mývatnssveit 2007 (Field Report). Orri Vésteinsson. Reykjavik, Iceland: Fornleifastofnun Íslands. 2008 ( tDAR id: 3268) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8KW5DGB

Spatial Coverage

min long: -17.5; min lat: 65.373 ; max long: -16.5; max lat: 65.736 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Christian Koch Madsen

Contributor(s): Magnús Á. Sigurgeirsson; Thomas H. McGovern

Record Identifiers

Fornleifastofnun Íslands(s): FS386-02263

File Information

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