From Iceland — Flag-Coloured Pearl Found At Archaeological Dig

Flag-Coloured Pearl Found At Archaeological Dig

Published August 9, 2022

Photo by
Fjörður - Seyðisfjörður fornleifar/Facebook

A pearl with the Icelandic flag colours from the beginning of Icelandic settlement was found during an archaeoligical dig in Seyðisfjörður, reports RÚV.

The Volcano is on (again) at Fagradalsfjall! Check out our volcano merch in the Grapevine shop: books, T-shirts, posters even socks and more. Join our High Five club to support our volcano coverage and get discounts in our shop!

The excavation lies beneath ash fall from the 1362 eruption of Öræfajökull. The excavation has uncovered human and horse bones, a spear, iron tools, jewelry, ornaments, and more.

It is believed that this pearl is from the 10th or 11th century and is completely unique. Other pearls have been uncovered, but not with these colours.

“We put a story on Facebook and I think everyone gets the same feeling, it’s hard to put it into words but you see the Icelandic flag and wonder if there was a prophet in the past who made this pearl,” says archaeologist and research lead, Ragnheiður Traustadóttir.

Researchers are positive that this pearl is the same age as the other pearls they have found. A landslide helped to preserve several human structures, including a 30-metre cabin and three outhouses.

“It’s one of many pearls we’ve found, but perhaps the most interesting one because of the colour combination,” says Ragnheiður. “There’s no way it’s younger. It was under the landslide and under the pile of ash we’re digging out of right now.”

Twenty archaeologists will continue working on the excavation through August, though the excavation is not complete.

“It will be interesting to put [the pearl] in the context of the four chunks we dug up last year,” says Ragnheiður. “There is a unique opportunity to look at this history of Fjörður from the second half of the 10th century and into the 11th century.”

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!