Dependent Independence? Identity, Interconnection, and Isolation in Iceland (AD 870-1800)

Author(s): Kevin Smith

Year: 2017


This paper will explore intersections among international trade, domestic economy, and identity in Iceland from the time of its settlement shortly before AD 870 until its quest for post-colonial, independent nation status in the late-19th century. Focusing primarily on three periods—the Viking Age: AD 870-1050, the medieval/Sturlung period: ca. AD 1150-1300, and the Early Modern era, ca. 1500-1800—this presentation will integrate archaeological data gleaned from a range of recent projects with historical source materials to query standard models of this North Atlantic island's integration, isolation, or dependency through this 1000-year span. Rather than focusing on models that have conceptualized Iceland and other North Atlantic Scandinavian outposts as passive actors on the periphery of dynamic European economic and cultural networks, this paper will consider Icelanders' agency in building, maintaining, or molding those networks as integral elements in the changing construction of Icelandic identity and society.

Cite this Record

Dependent Independence? Identity, Interconnection, and Isolation in Iceland (AD 870-1800). Kevin Smith. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431409)


Iceland Identity Trade

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15852