NABO Field Sschool Background

The NABO field school began as a cooperative venture with the Institute of Archaeology, Iceland (FSÍ) in 1997. Originally the field school centered on the long running excavations at Hofstaðir, later expanding (along with the Mývatn projects) into a wider investigation of multiple Viking Age sites in the landscape. The Mývatn field school continued through the summer of 2004, eventually providing students from 26 nations a chance to experience the hot springs, lava fields, and rich insect life of this highland lake basin.

The field school collaborated closely with the Bradford University field school at Old Scatness led by Steve Dockrill and Julie Bond, and with the NSF-Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates program led by Sophia Perdikaris (Brooklyn College CUNY).

From 2005 to 2013, the field school shifted venue to Vatnsfjörður in the impressive West Fjords of Iceland. The school was been run by Dr. Karen Milek (U. Durham) and Gardar Gudmundsson (FSI) with the active participation of Christian Keller (U Oslo) and a full range of NABO collaborating specialists.

Since 2010 Julie Bond and Steve Dockrill have also run a NABO Fieldschool on Rousay (Orkney), which was a collaboration between University of Bradford, CUNY & Orkney College. This is part of the Against Time and Tide: Investigating The Iron Age of Orkney project. The excavations at The Knowe of Swandro include a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb, the concentric outer walls of which survive underneath the storm beach, Iron Age roundhouses, Pictish buildings, a Viking settlement and a Norse Long Hall. The 2018 excavations at Swandro are featured in the BBC Digging for Britain archaeology programme.

In 2016, the NABO Field School was based at Gufuskálar.


Greenland: Arctic Vikings Field School Summer 2019

The Greenland National Museum and Archives in partnership with the Institute for Field Research is hosting an international archaeological field school for undergraduate students in South Greenland, summer of 2019. Scholarships are available through the program and IFR to help reduce the cost for students.

The Greenland National Museum and Archives in partnership with the Institute for Field Research is hosting an international archaeological field school for undergraduate students in South Greenland, summer of 2019. Scholarships are available through the program and IFR to help reduce the cost for students.

This field school is a four-week adventure in a rugged environment that will provide students with a crash course in Arctic Archaeology. Participants will learn how to identify sites and features through landscape survey, perform “keyhole” excavations, and learn how to document their observations quickly and efficiently. Students will not only learn about archaeological field methods but will also have the chance to interact with the local community and gain insight into emerging issues regarding the impact of global climate change on cultural resources in the Arctic. Due to the ongoing issues surrounding the loss of organic deposits in South Greenland, emphasis will be placed on rapid and efficient intervention techniques in the field. This program is RPA certified (Register of Professional Archaeologists) and will benefit students who plan to pursue cultural resource management work in the future.

Archaeological investigations in 2019 will be conducted in the small hamlet of Igaliku in South Greenland. During the Norse period, Igaliku was the site of the episcopal manor farm of Garðar, established in AD 1124. Garðar was a geographical nexus between the most populous parts of the Eastern Settlement and possessed a large cathedral dedicated to St. Nicolaus. As the largest church in Norse Greenland, this cathedral reflected the manor’s great wealth and political importance. Although there are theories explaining why the Norse eventually abandoned Greenland in the mid-1400’s, many questions still remain unanswered. In the 1700s, colonial era Inuit farmers resettled Garðar and created a way of life very similar to the Norse – one that continues to this day. This area was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage property in July 2017 and bears witness to a rich and vibrant history of farming and pastoralism in South Greenland.

More details and application form and questions and inquiries about the field school can be sent to harmsen@natmus.gl