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Increasing the resolution from climate change to weather events: understanding past land-use management on the Svalbarð estate, North East Iceland.

Author(s): Paul Adderley ; James Woollett ; Guðrún Gísladóttir ; Uggi Ævarsson

Year: 2016

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Summary

Climate change has commonly been invoked as the most major force in determining land-use in the Norse settlement of Iceland. Recently, climate studies in the North Atlantic have focused on regional-scale shifts in temperature, ice-cover, and storminess. In contrast, the post-settlement period is increasingly understood from excavation and analyses of the material culture associated with farming practices, as well as literature-based and geomorphological perspectives. While climate evidence provided by regional proxies such as ice-core data interpretation is increasingly and readily available, the linkage from these data to patterns of landscape use and management remains largely speculative. Furthermore, there is an obvious contention when considering the direct impact of climate change on landscape productivities, relative to the ability for past farming communities to adapt. In this paper we examine the results of a project being conducted across a set of farm-sites on the Svalbarð estate, North East Iceland. Examining both major farmsteads and those in the hinterland, novel high-resolution instrumented analysis of above- and below-ground temperature and moisture conditions is scaled relative to regional data. This enables us to model landscape productivities available to past farmers and, augmented by archaeological survey and excavation, to consider detailed scenarios of past land-use.


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Cite this Record

Increasing the resolution from climate change to weather events: understanding past land-use management on the Svalbarð estate, North East Iceland.. Paul Adderley, James Woollett, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Uggi Ævarsson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404169)


Keywords

General
Farming Norse Soil

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America