From Iceland — Archaeological Excavations In Arnarfjörður Reveal Medieval Longhouse

Archaeological Excavations In Arnarfjörður Reveal Medieval Longhouse

Published September 1, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Margrét Hrönn Hallmundsdóttir

Archaeological excavations in Arnarfjörður, in the Westfjords, have revealed various artefacts and a medieval longhouse.

As Bæjarins Besta reports, the archeological research and excavation of the longhouse at Auðkúla was completed for the summer last week and has provided an enormous amount of data and knowledge to the research, according to leading archaeologist Margrét Hrönn Hallmundsdóttir from Náttúrustofa Vestfjarða.

Photo by Margrét Hrönn Hallmundsdóttir

The article states that a large kiln was found in one corner of a pit house, a small structure that is usually found near a longhouse, that was excavated outside of the longhouse and drone photography, and thermal cameras have revealed a lot of structures and farmsteads that had been recorded in sources but whose locations had been unknown as well as previously completely unknown structures.

In Hrafnseyri, the next farm to Auðkúla, an excavation in 2012-2013 revealed a pithouse that was bigger than usual, as well as iron ovens and charcoal pits dated from the 9th century, suggesting that as early as 9th century people were making iron in Hrafnseyri like their neighbours in Auðkúla and Grelutófir (excavated 1977-1987). This summer the excavation team located the large longhouse in Hrafnseyri, just few meters from the previously excavated pithouse, although the longhouse still needs to be excavated.

According to a report by RÚV, the hall is about 23 meters long and has a traditional hearth for ironworking. A cowshed as well as three other houses that are believed to have a connection to iron mining in the area are still to be excavated.

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