From Iceland to New Iceland. The Archaeology of 19th-century Emigration


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Project Details

Title:From Iceland to New Iceland. The Archaeology of 19th-century Emigration
Permalink:http://www.nabohome.org/cgi-bin/explore.pl?seq=124
Abstract:The project is apart of Agusta Edwald\'s current PhD research project at the Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen. The project is supervised by Dr. Karen Milek and Dr. Jeff Oliver. It aims to shed light on the experience of Icelandic immigrants to Canada in the late 19th century. It has been estimated that around 20,000 individuals emigrated from Iceland to North America in the late 19th century in the period from 1870-1914. The emigration amounted to an exodus from Iceland, which at the time was a sparsely populated colony of Denmark. Around one in five people left the country, an estimated 20% of the nation, with the majority settling in Manitoba.

Adjustment to new cultures and environments is not automatic but involves conscious choices, decisions and actions of both individuals and groups. Archaeologists are well equipped to study periods of cultural contact as these decisions and actions are often manifested in the material culture of individuals and/or groups and are evident in the material record they left behind. By focusing on two farmsteads, one in Iceland and one in the former colony of New Iceland, Manitoba, the research aims to detect nuanced changes that were experienced during the emigration period and to narrate personal stories of peoples\' lives. These narratives can then be juxtaposed with other research focussing on broad social changes and political reform during this transformative period in the history of both Iceland and Canada.

The Icelandic farmstead was home to a family who emigrated to Canada in 1876. It is called Hornbrekka and is located in Skagafj÷r­ur in North Iceland. The excavation at Hornbrekka took place in August 2009. The Canadian homestead was claimed by an Icelandic family in 1878, it is called Vidivellir and is on the outskirts of Riverton, Manitoba. The excavation at Vidivellir took place in June 2010.

Keywords:19th-century,,emigration,,Iceland,,New,Iceland
Sponsors/Funders: Fornleifasjˇ­ur
Government of Canada
Collage of Physical Sciences University of Aberdeen
SIET
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
Country:Iceland
Region:H÷f­astr÷nd, Skagafj÷r­ur
Project Start Year:2008
Projected End Year:2011

Account Owner

Contact: ┴g˙sta Edwald
Institution: University of Aberdeen
Postal Address: Department of Archaeology

St Mary´s, Elphinstone Road

Aberdeen

Post Code: AB24 3UF
Email: agusta_edwald@abdn.ac.uk

Project Collaborators

Name: Veronique Forbes
Institution: University of Aberdeen
 
Name: Megan T. Hicks
Institution: CUNY
 
Name: Dr. Karen Milek
Institution: University of Aberdeen
Email: k.milek@abdn.ac.uk
 

Project Content

PDF File
Hornbrekka excavation report [1.86 MB]
Preliminary excavation report from 2009 excavation at Hornbrekka on H÷f­astr÷nd, N-Iceland.




Project Location

Latitude: 65.55932°N
Longitude: 19.23447°W