All projects All projects from the North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation Search Google Search q The Alluitsoq Project The Alluitsoq Project is a community-based, collaborative research program investigating life at the former Moravian mission of Lichtenau (est. 1774) in South Greenland. It is designed to position descendant community members as key contributors for knowledge co-production, to support local Greenlandic scholars, to contribute to conversations on Arctic Indigneity, and to contribute to millennial-scale studies of climate adaptations. This work also mitigates the impacts of global climate change which is resulting in rapid loss of the archaeological record. Cameron C. Turley (PI) is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. His dissertation investigates ethnogenesis and political identity formation in Colonial-Period South Greenland using persistent and changing foodways as his material analytic. The research combines ethnographic and oral history interviews, archival material, and organic residue analysis to reconstruct and interpret changing culinary traditions. The project supports PhD and MA theses for two Greenlandic students and one other American student: Akß Bendtsen is asking how adoption of new technologies entangles people, things, and global economies and politics to afford new actions in a dynamic culture. Kirstine E. M°ller is investigating Noorliit (Neu Herrnhut, Nuuk), Alluitsoq, and Canadian missions to compare mixed Inuit cultural traditions at mission contact zones. Wendi K. Coleman is considering peoples' changing relationships with the environment as seen in shifting subsistence patterns while interacting with imperial networks. Additionally, the Alluitsoq Project is a contributor to the NSF-supported "Co-production of scientific knowledge and the building of local archeological capacity in Greenland" project by adding colonial-period datasets to the millennial-scale study of human-environment interactions and climate adaptations in Greenland. Indigenous Archaology, Greenland, Lichtenau, Moravian, Community-based, Collaborative, Colonial Hegranes Zooarchaeology Project This project focuses on the zooarchaeology of Hegranes, in Skagafj÷r­ur. Partnered with the Skagafj÷r­ur Church and Settlement Survey (SCASS, and the Fornbřli Landscape and Archaeological Survey on Hegranes (FLASH,, the Hegranes Zooarchaeology Project allows us to explore the economic strategies of the first settlers on Hegranes. Rather than focusing on a large-scale excavation at one site, this project has benefitted from smaller excavations at nearly every site on Hegranes. This project has begun to illuminate local trade networks, specific resource specialization, early artisanal fishing, and social practices. The varied use of wild and domestic resources contribute to our knowledge of the changes in farm size over time as well as longevity of a site. By joining these three projects, we hope to gain a more holistic understanding of not just the settlement pattern of the region but of the activities taking place on the landscape and the factors that played into early decision-making. Iceland, zooarchaeology, marine adaptations, settlement patterns, abandonment Isle of Vallay Archaeology/Climate Change Expedition 2017 We are in our second season of a survey of Erskine Beveridge sites on he Isle of Vallay, impacted by Climate Change. Vallay Isle of Vallay Archaeology/Climate Change Expedition 2017 We are in our second season of a survey of Erskine Beveridge sites on he Isle of Vallay, impacted by Climate Change. Vallay Zooarchaeology of the Skagafj÷r­ur Archaeological Settlement Survey (SASS) The Skagafj÷r­ur Archaeological Settlement Survey (SASS) examined the settlement pattern of Langholt, Skagafj÷r­ur, northern Iceland. Later creation of smaller farms through subdivision of larger, earlier settlements seems to have aided in the creation of social inequality in the late Norse and Medieval periods. For more information, see the SASS website ( or contact Principle Investigators John Steinberg and Douglas Bolender. The zooarchaeological analysis is being done at Hunter College and will provide more data for the project as a whole while also addressing other questions of interest. Current research topics include the exploration of status, wealth, and social inequality through food remains. zooarchaeology, Skagafj÷r­ur Investigations of the Long Term Sustainability of Human Ecodynamic Systems in Northern Iceland (MYCHANGE) This international, cross-disciplinary NSF-funded project focuses on change, the environment, and sustainability in Iceland during the period ca. AD 1700 to 1950. A major aim of the project is to establish developments in human and social ecodynamics by considering one specific region – the Mřvatn district in northeastern Iceland. The written record of subsistence and economy in Iceland is extensive, and includes detailed historical and literary accounts produced by individuals at different scales from the personal, such as diaries and letters, to the official, including documents from governmental and municipal archives. The “MYCHANGE” project has a particular focus on such documentary evidence and written accounts of daily activities include: haymaking; herding animals; subsistence; and trade, and provide a rich source of different perspectives on how people experienced, structured, and made use of their environment. The project encompasses a number of disciplines including historical ecology, environmental history, and literary studies, and includes considerable input from archaeology, in particular zooarchaeology. The project time frame begins ca. 1700 as from that time onwards the documentary evidence is extensive, and extends to ca. 1950. After that time numerous changes occurred that are beyond the scope of this exploratory project. In order to establish a synthetic view of the vulnerabilities and strengths that formed past subsistence modes the project places primary emphasis on one specific yet crucial aspect of the economy: the productivity of the grass growth and hay yield. The main elements considered are: haymaking; grassland management; and their inter-connections with climatic, environmental, and socioeconomic aspects. The project team members are: Astrid Ogilvie, ┴rni Daniel J˙lÝusson, Megan Hicks, Vi­ar Hreinsson and Ragnhildur Sigur­ardˇttir. Refer to project descr. file for more information Mřvatn, Iceland, hay, grazing, fodder, climate, ecodynamics, economy, resiliance, sustainability, ┌tskalar Between 2005 and 2006 archaeologists from Fornleifastofnun ═slands (Icelandic Institute of Archaeology) conducted excavations at the coastal site of ┌tskalar, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Southwest Iceland. The site's material remains are understood in four phases dating between the late 10th century to the Modern period. A Viking Age structure was found to be the earliest indication of activity. Midden accumulation after the structure's abandonment suggests the site continued to be occupied between the 10th century and the present. Faunal evidence from all phases points to a central importance of domestic mammals, fish, birds and some marine mammals. Domestic mammals were largely caprines (sheep and goats) and cows, with lesser numbers of pigs and horses. Fish remains were mostly cod in all phases with other gadids, plus a few wolf fish and one shark specimen. A large diversity of bird species, especially alcids, including the now extinct Great Auk, may have played a special role in for early inhabitants of the site. The faunal remains were analyzed at the Hunter College NABO-NORSEC Zooarchaeology Laboratory, by Hunter College and CUNY students Megan T. Hicks, Barry Gordon, Quinn Bolte, Dylan Lewis, Barry Coe, Elisheva Charm, Regan Loggans, Lucretia Williams, Kelly Creary and Erina Perez. G˙­run Alda GÝsladˇttir (FS═) is the post-excavation project manager and questions regarding the faunal remains can be directed to Megan T. Hicks (CUNY) Zooarcheology, faunal remains, ┌tskalar, Iceland Where should I put this shieling? The project was part of the dissertation submitted for the completion of the course MSc GIS and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. The dissertation aimed to explore the theory of Norse pastoral subsistence system using GIS. The basic assumption was the North Atlantic setup of transhumance that a permanently occupied farmstead always had a seasonally occupied shieling. Further, the research explores the idea that the Norse subsistence system on Greenland manifested itself through the increased 'level of connection' and that the mutual exploit of resources was done through organised labour involving several farmsteads. These hypotheses formed the research question behind the dissertation: was the optimal path through the landscape between farmsteads the key factor in the positioning of the shielings in Vatnahverfi region or is their location purely governed by the distribution of the resource areas. These approaches were tested in GIS, using the least cost analysis and site catchment. After the application of the least cost analysis model in Central Vatnahverfi, where a substantial amount of shielings was known, and establishing that a fair amount of those shielings were indeed in the vicinity of the modelled communication routes, the same model was applied to Alluitsup region in Vatnahverfi where very few pastoral shielings were known. In this way, the model can be used as the basis for future surveys as it suggests the possible locations of new simple and complex pastoral shielings. organised pastoral labour, exploit of pastoral resources, modelling communication routes LŠkjargata The archaeological remains of LŠkjargata (64.146270, -21.938554) in downtown ReykjavÝk were excavated by archaeologists from Fornleifastofnun ═slands (FS═) under the direction of LÝsabet Gu­mundsdˇttir in 2015. LŠkjargata Modelling changes in the coastal geomorphology of Unst, Shetland and the implications for understanding High to Late Medieval harbour changes in the Scandinavian North Atlantic This sub-project is part of the SP5 Geomorphology section of the HaNoA project. The geomorphological setting of Norse harbours in the Atlantic is variable, with contrasting landform stability over short, medium and long time scales. Here we assess geomorphological change on the island of Unst, the most northerly of the British Isles, a coastline used by the Norse, as well as earlier and later societies. This island offer a complex coastline of deep fjords and arcuate embayments and thus significent differences in forces acting upon the coastline. There is also evidence for instability in the beaches used by Norse that could have been driven by the changes in climate conditions from the Medieval Climatic Anomaly to the Little Age and the present day. We model coastlines using the sediment dynamics model MIKE21. Model results agree well with the location of extant sandy beaches on Unst, but model runs with modern environmental drivers also build sandy beaches where none currently exist. Blown sand deposits were formed in the 12th-13th century, consistent with High Medieval settlement times and the onset of the Little Ice Age, suggesting that some of the Norse landing sites began to destabilise at this time. This research will show how beach instability can be modelled to determine the likely circumstances under which beaches formed, changed or disappeared and thus the potential geomorphological drivers of coastal change, harbour use and our ability to identify past harbour sites. Geormorphology, Unst, Shetland, Coastal, Harbour, Landing site, Norse, Viking, Erosion, Beach, NUM3NA: Norse Use of Marine Mammals in the Medieval North Atlantic whales, seals, walrus, aDNA, environmental humanities Palaeoanthropocene in Iceland This project used published and new records of vegetation change and soil erosion from all of Iceland to look at the timing, extent and rate of change in natural systems at Landnßm. This dataset was used to investigate the what extent it was possible to distinguish a distinct 'anthropocene' in Iceland, based on these records alone. Comparative Island Ecodynamics, anthropocene, pollen, tephra, soil erosion, Landnßm Snow modelling H÷rgardalur This is the northern Iceland field site for the snow modelling in Iceland project. Fieldwork in March 2014 collected measurements of snow depth and density near the archaeological site of Skuggi. These measurements along with LANDSAT imagery is used to calibrate a process based snow model for the region. This model will be run under different climatic scenarios to simulate the changes in snow cover and duration from the Medieval Climate Anomaly through the Little Ice Age. Comparative Island Ecodynamics, snow, Little Ice Age Snow modelling Skaftßrtunga This is the southern Iceland field site for the snow modelling in Iceland project. Fieldwork in March 2014 collected measurements of snow depth and density at the farms of Hrifunes and B˙land. These measurements along with LANDSAT imagery is used to calibrate a process based snow model for the region. This model will be run under different climatic scenarios to simulate the changes in snow cover and duration from the Medieval Climate Anomaly through the Little Ice Age. Comparative Island Ecodynamics, snow, Little Ice Age Snow modelling to understand the impacts of Little Ice Age climate change This project aims to use an existing process based snow model to simulate changes in snow cover and distribution for sites in Iceland and in Greenland. Changes in the duration and depth of snow cover through periods of climatic deterioration may have had significant impacts on pastoral farmers, particularly if snow cover extended into the spring. The Little Ice age is a known period of climatic cooling that would have increased the duration of snow cover. Long term records of snow cover beyond a few decades do not exist so modelling is the only way to determine how snow cover would have changed. Climatic scenarios are drawn from Global Circulation models to show snow cover in good (warm) and bad (cold) years. Fieldwork in March 2014 at the two study areas took measurements of snow thickness and density allowing a calibration of the model against modern meteorological datasets. Currently (November 2015) this project is being written up for publication in 2016. Sites in Iceland will be compared to sites in Greenland. Comparative Island Ecodynamics, modelling, LIttle Ice Age, snow Evaluation of Archaeoentomology for Reconstructing Rural Life-Ways and the Process of Modernisation in Iceland This project was initiated with VÚronique Forbes's PhD dissertation at the University of Aberdeen 'Evaluation of Archaeoentomology for Reconstructing Rural Life-Ways and the Process of Modernisation in 19th and Early 20th-Century Iceland' (2013). The project seeks to evaluate the potential of archaeoentomology, the study of insects preserved in archaeological contexts, to help understand when and how the social, ideological and economic changes associated with modernization took place in various parts of Iceland. So far, the project has examined insects preserved in 19th and 20th century deposits from 3 archaeological sites from northern Iceland: Hornbrekka, Vatnsfj÷r­ur and Ůverß. These have yielded the earliest records of now-cosmopolitan insect species including cattle ectoparasites as well as stored food pests originally found in tropical and subtropical regions. These insects can be used to clarify the timing and processes by which individual sites began tapping into international trade networks, farming came to be modernized and people's everyday practices and attitude were affected by ideologies of 'improvement'. Archaeoentomology, Modernization, Iceland The Siglunes Project: Long-term Investigations of Marine Economy in Eyjafj÷r­ur The Siglunes site is characterized by a series of coastal remains associated with fishing-related activities on the peninsula itself, and an enormous farm mound and connected in-, and outfield complex on the mainland. Although heavily impacted by coastal erosion, the fisheries portion of the site offers a most unusual opportunity to consider the development of commercial fishery in its local environmental and cultural context, thanks to a well stratified archaeofaunal record that gives insights into the Atlantic marine ecosystem before the ‘great whale massacre’ and through the major climatic shifts of the MCA-LIA. The stratified deposits at Siglunes have excellent organic preservation, and preliminary work in 2011-2013 recovered significant amounts of well-preserved mammal, fish, and bird bone. The Siglunes faunal and structural deposits are dated by AMS radiocarbon, volcanic tephra, artifacts, and documentary sources to span the 9th to early 20th centuries AD and represent a major archive not only for archaeology, zooarchaeology and environmental history, but for fisheries biologists and marine mammal conservation science. Siglunes research is ongoing and hopes to not only provide further investigation of the fishery portion of the site, but also the long-term farming activities. Recent analysis of the recovered archaeofauna from targeted midden areas has already provided valuable insight into the Viking Age to Late Medieval Marine Resource Exploitation and potential local and regional subsistence and exchange strategies. Iceland, terrestrial & marine resources, long-term occupation, subsistence vs. commercial fisheries Harbours of the North Atlantic (AD 800-1300) (HaNoA) The core aims of the project are: to investigate possible port facilities and their functions by studying medieval written sources, to examine the topography of ports in relation to navigational aids (e.g. landmarks), ballast fields, the seabed and the locations of landing-places and port facilities on land, to refine and consolidate the so-called fetch method to localise and evaluate ports or landing-places, to analyse ballast as an archaeological source for the first time, in order to gain an understanding of the origins of trading vessels and the volume of maritime trade, and to ascertain the most reliable indicators for the elusive ports of the Viking period and the Middle Ages in the North Atlantic. harbours,Viking,Medieval,trade RAPID Gar­ar Collaborative Rescue Project - 2012 RAPID is an intensive international multi-disciplinary effort to salvage critical organic remains (zooarchaeological, archaeobotanical, artifactual, geoarchaeological, bioarchaeological, and archaeoentomological) from rapidly degrading cultural deposits at the unique site of Gar­ar E47 at modern Igaliku. Gar­ar was the bishops’ manor farm with a large stone cathedral and stalling space for well over 100 cattle. Major excavations at the site were carried out by Poul N°rlund in 1926 that documented the unusual size and layout of the church and manor farm and recovered some human and animal bone, but without observing stratigraphy or employing any systematic recovery strategy (N°rlund 1929). This site is key to understanding the changing structure and organization of Norse Greenland and its societal response to climate change and culture contact, but its unique archaeological record is now under urgent threat. As in other portions of the circumpolar north, rapid warming in the past decade has drastically degraded once outstanding conditions of organic preservation, as seasonally frozen ground now thaws completely every year and organic deposits preserved for thousands of years are rapidly decaying. In Greenland, a major finding of the 2007-10 International Polar Year effort is the rapidity and scope of loss of once well-preserved organics all across South Greenland. At Gar­ar medieval irrigation systems had created substantial wet meadows around the bishops’ manor farm, but in 2004 -05 modern farmers began cutting a series of deep drainage trenches in this meadow area. Site visits (Kapel 2005) confirmed that these ditches had exposed extensive midden deposits with well preserved bone and wood visible in profile. The RAPID project is aimed at rescuing these deposits, but intensive excavation during July-August 2012. Greenland, Norse, Zooarchaeology, Climate, Subsistance, Eastern Settlement ě68 Timerliit Excavation Project - IPY - 2008 Excavation of a midden at a Norse farm in inland area of Vatnahverfi, Eastern Settlement. ě68 is a small size Norse farm in the inland district of Vatnahverfi. Even though the main goal to generate a large, well preserved and stratified zooarchaeological collection was not fully achieved, we were still able to generate a small, stratified collection. The thorough excavation throughout the whole midden deposition sequence enabled us to take bone and charcoal (local flora, not driftwood) samples from all layers, which will be used to date the settlement and abandonment of this farm through AMS C14 dating. Soil, micro-morphology, botanical, and ancient DNA samples were taken for analysis by specialists, and we hope to be able to reconstruct the vegetation conditions in this part of Vatnahverfi region prior, and during the human settlement, and compare it to modern conditions. Greenland,Norse,Zooarchaeology,Climate,Subsistance,Eastern Settlement ě172 Tatsip Ataa Midden Excavation Project - Subsistence Strategies and Economy in Norse Vatnahverfi The Norse economy in Greenland was strongly dependent upon a balance of both marine resources (seals, sea birds, walruses) and terrestrial resources (pasture plants, woodland, fertilized soils, domestic mammals, reindeer) (McGovern 1985, 2000, McGovern et al 1996, Enghoff 2003). The Vatnahverfi project aims at improving understanding of the Norse farming and hunting strategies, as well as the use of other local resources (woodland, pasture, marine and freshwater resources) in the Vatnahverfi area, and how they changed in the face of climatic and environmental changes, especially with the arrival of summer sea ice ca. 1250-1300 and the cooling and increased variability of the 15th century (Ogilvie et al 2009, Dugmore et al 2007, 2012). This in turn may have affected the settlement pattern, and the use of landscape and natural resources in this inner fjord part of the Norse Eastern Settlement. Through zooarchaeology and environmental archaeology, we aim to reconstruct the human ecodynamics of that region and collect data that will be basis for a broader comparison with other places in the Norse North Atlantic. The farm site E172 Tatsip Ataa was chosen after the completion of a coring survey and an excavation of a 2x3m trench at this farm complex in 2007, which located and dated the midden (Śmiarowski 2007, M°ller 2007). The overall main objectives for both (2009-10) field seasons were to continue excavations of the midden. The 2007 survey and excavation results confirmed good organic preservation (preserved wood, bark, and small whale baleen artifacts with soil ph 6.2 in most of the midden layers), and produced sizable archaeofauna and artifact collections. Further investigation of bone and artifact density, and excavation of datable patches of cultural deposits to recover a sample of ecofacts and artifacts from the midden layers was the main aim of the 2009-10 excavations. Greenland,Norse,Zooarchaeology,Climate,Subsistance,Eastern,Settlement Archaeolgocal excavations at the Law Ting Holm, Tingwall, Shetland, 2011 Data Structure Report / Interim Field Report on the excavation carried out in summer 2010. Survey of archaeological remains at SvÝnanes, Iceland Iceland, trading site Survey of medieval harbours at Shetland Shetland, medieval, trading site Pagan Burial Maps Maps of Pagan Burials in Iceland developed through arcgis software and uploaded on Google Earth. In essence, the focus of this project was to create individual maps considerably zoomed in, showing not only the burials but also the landscape features surrounding each burial. The level of transparency of the maps is directly associated with Google Earth features so we can match their accuracy. It has been argued that in the Viking Age the choice of a placement of a burial could be related to the landscape, e.g. near a river or a farm. The reasons could vary from burying an individual near water – perhaps seen as a liminal zone between the land of the living and the dead; or near a farm in order to mantain the connection between the living and the dead (R Maher 2003). In placing these maps onto the layout of Iceland, it may be possible to perceive the landscape features around the burials in a more comprehensive way and perhaps create theories about the supposed association with the landscape. burials,maps,pagan Los Buchillones Archaeology Project The Los Buchillones Archaeology Project involves Cuban, Canadian, Mexican and British specialists in archaeological survey, excavation and material analyses from a number of newly identified sites in a case study area in northern Cuba. This case study area includes 2000 sq km in northern Ciego de Avila province and the Sabana-Camaguey archipelago. Fieldwork includes the continuing excavation of a number of archaeological sites and the analysis and classification of the full spectrum of material remains including XRF and SEM analyses of selected exported material. Palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from this case study area are being created through the analysis of a series of marine, lacustrine and terrestrial sediment cores that transect the case study area. Studies of local past human ecodynamics have been developed focusing on the impacts of relative sea level rise, precipitation change and palaeotempestology in this case study area. In 2010, we completed the construction of a new heritage research centre at our central site of Los Buchillones and this centre now employs a full time staff of 8 specialists, 5 technicians and 6 administrative staff all focused on developing this collaborative research. Cuba, Archaeology, Los Buchillones, The Archaeology of Climate Change in the Caribbean Pre-Colombian populations in the Caribbean, from 5000 BC to AD 1492, lived through more than five metres relative sea level rise, marked variation in annual rainfall and periodic intensification of hurricane activity. This Leverhulme funded project exploits the time depth of cultural practice to provide archaeological lessons that can inform current responses to the impacts of climate change in the region. This parent project emerges from an interdisciplinary collaboration between Cuban, British and Canadian archaeologists and palaeoenvironmental scientists. This collaboration, that began in 2002, has included a wide-ranging study of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data. The primary aim of this project is to explore the temporal and spatial scales at which cause and effect between archaeological and palaeoclimatic phenomena can be correlated, analysed and interpreted. Recent research has identified spatial and temporal patterns in the changing nature of pre-Colombian lifeways in the Caribbean. This archaeological information has then been closely correlated in space and time with the long and short-term impacts of climate variability and environmental change. It has then been possible to evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of past cultural practices in the face of environmental change and establish lessons that will contribute to contemporary mitigation strategies. It is clear that by developing research questions compatible with the data resolution available it is possible to identify ways of living in the past that helped mitigate the impacts of climate change. This research can provide modern day populations with practical information on settlement locations, food procurement strategies and household architecture that have not previously been considered and that can now be used to inform climate change mitigation strategies in the Caribbean. Caribbean, Climate Variability, Environmental Change, Hazards, Houses for the Living and the Dead This research combines archaeological and ethnohistorical research to study the organisation of settlement space and residence rules among the Late Ceramic Age (“Taino”) Indians during the Late Ceramic Age (AD 1000-1492). Collaborative research between the Caribbean Research Group, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University and the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, Santo Domingo, has resulted in a PhD dissertation on the settlement features from El Cabo San Rafael (Samson 2010) as well as numerous published articles, reports and MA/BA theses. The Taino were the first indigenous people encountered in the New World by Christopher Columbus. Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) was home to the most densley populated and complex precolumbian societies in the Caribbean. Existing interpretive models of village settlement and household organisation are based almost entirely on colonial documents and chronicles written by the Spanish. Such ethnohistoric models have only been minimally supplemented by archaeological data from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antillean islands. To address this and complement the picture, archaeological investigationáwas undertaken at the site of El Cabo, in the HigŘey region, Altagracia province of the eastern Dominican Republic. Dense feature clusters provided an excellent opportunity to study the spatial organisation of a late pre-Columbian settlement in the Greater Antilles. Over 30 houses were excavated in the indigenous town of El Cabo, as well as numerous other community and work structures, burials and associated artefact assemblages. El Cabo, inhabited since ca. AD600, was eventually abandoned in the early years of the 1500s after European colonization. An early contact Spanish assemblage associated with the indigenous houses provides insight into early contact dynamics in this region of Hispaniola. Archaeological research was complemented by a detailed re-analysis of the ethnohistoric accounts. Greater Antilles, Household archaeology, TaÝno The Caves of Barbuda Part of the Barbuda Historical Ecology Project - the caves on the windward side of Barbuda show evidence of occupation from earliest settlement through to the present day. These caves present a fascinating spectrum of activities from the many different cultures who have inhabited Barbuda. Caves,historical,archaeology,pre-Columbian,archaeology,post-Columbian,archaeology The River Site This Archaic Period site has remnants of the Archaic Strombus Line feature that stretched across the southern coast of Barbuda. Barbuda, Archaic, Lithics Rousay, Orkney: Gateway to the Atlantic This project forms part of the Orkney Gateway to the Atlantic project. The core aim of this research initiative is to inform on sustainability and reliance strategies in the past, investigating how people (and society) reacted and adapted to climatic and environmental change over time. Due to the northerly position of Orkney, the islands have shorter growing seasons and a degree of marginality, which offers a remarkable opportunity to study the long-term effects of climate change and how people survived and adapted, from the first farmers over 5,000 years ago through to the clearances in the 19th century. As well as adaptation and sustainability, this long time frame provides the potential to study cultural changes as a result of contact and trade. This research initiative is linked to a wider research agenda investigating these themes across the North Atlantic by fellow researchers within the North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation (NABO). The field school was designed as a research programme. The majority of sites targeted for study are coastal as Orkney has a serious and growing problem of rising sea level and coastal erosion. The two main sites examined so far are both suffering from the effects of coastal erosion. These are the broch mound at Brough or South Howe, and the Knowe of Swandro. Both sites have enormous research potential, providing important archaeological and scientific data that might be used to study how people in the past confronted the marginality of these northern islands and how this changed over time with fluctuating environmental/climatic parameters. sustainability, reliance, multiperiod, coastal erosion Human-Plant Interactions in Barbuda This archaeobotanical project is part of the larger archaeoenvironmental section of the Barbuda Historical Ecology Project. It is also part of a Ph.D. research at UniversitÚ Laval (supervised by Dr. Allison Bain) that includes the study of long-term human-plant interactions in both Barbuda and French Guiana. This project aims at studying economy and ecology in response to human occupations. Therefore, five archaeobotanical types of remains are studied: seeds, charcoal, pollen, phytoliths and starch residues. Archaeobotany,Environmental,Archaeology,,Barbuda Highland House Highland House was a multi-purpose complex built in the highlands of Barbuda at the direction of William Codrington. The complex was started during the 1720's and it was in use into the early 19th century. This is a distinctive site in Caribbean historical archaeology in that it was built at least in part as a hunting lodge/vacation house for European's living in or visiting the region. It had a managerial role, and possibly a defensive role as well. Not directly related to sugar production, this site has the potential to reveal new insights on the life of Georgian gentlemen, as well as the enslaved, and possibly free, Afro-caribbean residents of this region during the 18th century. Historical,Archaeology,,post-Medieval,Archaeology,,Historical,Ecology,,Barbuda,,Antigua Archaeological Investigations of Codrington Castle, Codrington, Barbuda Barbuda,Antigua,Historical,Archaeology,Historical,Ecology,Fortifications BHEP Post-Columbian Archaeology These projects are part of the post-Columnbian/Historical Archaeology wing of the Barbuda Historical Ecology Project. Please contact George Hambrecht ( for any further information or questions. Historical,Archaeology,post-Medieval,Archaeology,Historical,Ecology,Barbuda,Antigua Social-ecological Resilience in the Viking-Age to Early-Medieval Faroe Islands This dissertation aims to evaluate the development and maintenance of social-ecological resilience during the settlement-period (ca. 9th through 11th centuries CE) in the Faroe Islands. In particular, the core objectives include the identification of the key social and natural variables involved, the examination of how these variables contributed to overall resilience, and the investigation of the initiation of the Faroese domestic economy. This research focuses primarily on an analysis of the 9th through 13th century archaeofaunal assemblage from the site of Undir Junkarinsfl°tti, located on the island of Sandoy. This analysis represents the first detailed study of the Faroese settlement-period domestic economy. In addition to the Undir Junkarinsfl°tti archaeofaunal data, the research presented here draws from a wide range of archaeological, paleoenvironmental, and documentary evidence. These Faroese data are compared with contemporaneous datasets from elsewhere in the North Atlantic, including Iceland, Greenland, the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland, and western coastal Norway. Interpretation of this evidence is informed by a theoretical approach rooted in historical ecology, with an emphasis on the dynamic and dialectic nature of human-environment interactions, particularly as these relate to social-ecological resilience. This study suggests that the overall resilience of the Faroese social-ecological system can largely be attributed not only to the maintenance of a broad-based domestic economy that was heavily subsidized by the sustained exploitation of robust natural resources, but also to the development of a collaborative, community-based approach to resource management and use. In particular, these factors contributed to robustness against food shortfalls. Faroe Islands, Norse, historical ecology, resilience, zooarchaeology Icelandic Freshwater Radiocarbon Reservoir Effects The radiocarbon levels in carbon from freshwater systems of lakes and rivers can be lower than in carbon from the terrestrial biosphere. This makes freshwater carbon appear anomalously old when it is radiocarbon dated. In Iceland, freshwater systems are frequently affected by a Freshwater 14C reservoir effect, or FRE, due to inputs of ancient carbon from geothermal systems, and can appear several thousand years older than equivalent terrestrial samples. These FREs affect not only freshwater biota such as fish, but also organisms that consumed freshwater resources, such as pigs and humans. The present project centres on Myvanssveit, in the northern interior highlands of Iceland, where a large FRE has been identified in Lake Myvatn. The Norse inhabitants of the region relied upon a resource based that included freshwater resources, and consequently bone collagen from humans and pigs within the region may be affected by a FRE. The ongoing project aims to characterise and quantify the FRE within this region, and explore its impact upon 14C dating of Norse communities. Radiocarbon,Freshwater,Reservoir,Myvatn Seaview Excavation of this early Saladoid site has been ongoing since 2008. What began as a salvaging effort to rescue midden deposits being eroded away by the sea has evolved into an open-area excavation of a large settlement. The 2011 excavation, aimed at retrieval of prehistoric cultural remains and student training, has been one component of a broader BHEP effort investigating human/environment interactions on the island of Barbuda and seeking to define the island’s place within the cultural and climatic realm of the Lesser Antilles and the circum-Atlantic region. Field School students under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Perdikaris continued work begun in 2008 at Seaview, aimed at further exploration of cultural features surrounding a possible early Saladoid plaza. The excavation consisted of a large open-area trench connecting with one of the 2008 test trenches (TRB5), which produced a large posthole. Based on 2008 and 2009 C14 dates, we suspect that the inland test trenches and subsequent excavations this year represent an earlier phase of Saladoid settlement on Barbuda, relative to the midden excavations along the erosion face. The excavation was successful in finding further evidence of a Saladoid settlement situated around a plaza. The finds included artifacts and ecofacts, numerous sunken features including postholes, cooking pits, and dumping pits. Caribbean,Saladoid,Community,Outreach,Paleobotany,Zooarchaeology,Pottery Barbuda Historical Ecology Project This project is a multi-disciplinary longitudinal research effort focusing on the island of Barbuda from first human settlement through to the present day. The goal of the project is to investigate human/environment interactions on the island of Barbuda and define the island’s place within the cultural and climatic realm of the Lesser Antilles and the circum-Atlantic region. It is a multi-disciplinary project with scholars from across the spectrum of social and hard sciences. Issues of island biogeography, cultural geography, subsistence through each cultural epoch, resilience and vulnerability in the face of extreme weather and environmental/landscape changes,as well as regional and oceanic connections will be approached through multiple disciplines and then analyzed in a collaborative forum. The project emphasis is on interdisciplinary, international collaboration of scientists, education and outreach. The project is part of a large initiative funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs on Islands of Change (IOC). The IOC initiative will connect progressive interdisciplinary science with innovative approaches to science education and heritage outreach to connect two small rural island communities of Barbuda, West Indies and Thingeyjarsveit, Iceland with the large urban island community of New York City. The islands present strong contrasts in scale, history, ethnicity, and natural environment, but common themes and processes connect these islands in both past and present. The islands today are faced by challenges associated with rapid global change- climate change, sea level rise, changes in plant and animal life, and the social and economic disruptions caused by dramatic shifts in world economy. They also share histories of external colonization, local adaptation, human impacts on landscape and resources, and changing impacts of past global economic connections. These islands are products of complex historical interaction of humans and environment which continues to affect their potential for future sustainability and likewise face common twenty first century challenges of educating citizens and future leaders for resilience and nurturing young scientists with strong social commitment. The Islands of Change program is working to connect local and global educational efforts with exciting new field science to provide lasting benefits to local communities as well as students from the City University of New York. Caribbean, Longitudinal Research, Community Outreach, Paleoclimatology, Paleobotany, Zooarchaeology Snow, landscape and people: Fieldwork in Norway Fieldwork from project: Snow, landscape and people: Modelling variations in snow distribution and melt across the landscape and the implications for human activities. Snow surveys were completed in Heidal valley, Oppland, along three discontinuous transects from valley bottom to top, two on the sunny side and one on the shady side. The transects were surveyed twice, firstly between the 28th February and the 9th March 2010, and secondly between the 22nd and 27th April 2010. Snow depth was measured with a probe every 5 metres, and a snow tube measurement was taken every 50 metres, from which snow density and SWE was calculated. Meteorological data was recorded through the melt period at varying elevations along the transects. The relationships between climate, vegetation, topography and snowcover were explored. Results: Snow depth is generally lower in clearings than forested areas due to the trapping of wind blown snow by higher vegetation. Snow melted faster in the clearings than the forested areas due to the direct radiation, and at lower elevations due to the higher temperatures. On the shaded side of the valley snow at the lower farming elevations melted almost 2 weeks earlier than on the shaded side (where landuse is used more for logging than farming, especially at higher elevations). Snow density was generally greater in the clearings where wind crusted denser snow and earlier melt occurs. Snow density increases over the melt period as the snow crystals metamorphose over time and with the weight of the overlying snow. Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) was therefore similar in the forest and clearings in the pre-melt period since the greater depths in the forest are compensated for by lower densities than in the clearings. Mid-melt, SWE was greater in the forest despite lower densities than the clearings because of the earlier melt in the clearings resulting in zero snow depths at the lower and mid-elevations clearings, especially on the sunny side of the valley. Despite snow density increasing throughout the melt period, mean SWE decreased in the clearings due to the large decreases in snow depth during melt. In forested areas, SWE increased through the melt period since the smaller decrease in snow depth due to melting was not enough to compensate for the increase in density. Implications: Throughout the winter period, higher densities in clearings result in easier mobility across the land than through the less dense snow of the forests. Whilst SWE is similar in forests and clearings through the winter period since differences in depth and density compensate for each other, the difference in vegetation becomes an important factor in the variation of SWE through the melt period. Forested areas retain snow for longer periods of time delaying the spring melt, and the increased vegetation height traps blowing snow thus increasing the magnitude of the spring melt locally. This is particularly noticeable on south facing slopes which receive more direct radiation causing exposed snow in the clearings to melt earlier and at a greater rate. Earlier melt of snow in clearings is important for farming since it allows a longer growing season, but the surrounding forests are key in maintaining soil moisture and fresh water throughout the spring after the snow has melted from the clearings. Future increases in temperature will result in earlier snow melt, thus the delayed melt in forested areas will become even more important for water supply and soil moisture levels, and a possible reduction in snow precipitation as a result of increased temperatures will increase the importance of forested areas in trapping the reduced volume blowing snow. snow,melt,vegetation,climate Snow, landscape and people: Fieldwork in Sweden Fieldwork from project: Snow, landscape and people: Modelling variations in snow distribution and melt across the landscape and the implications for human activities. Method: Snow depth and density were measured in the pre-snow melt period from March 24th to April 7th 2009. A transect between the ‘Abisko Birch’ (AB) and ‘Abisko Tundra’ (AT) research sites was surveyed with depth and density measured every 50 m using a snow tube and snow probe. Four additional depth measurements were made at each sampling point 2 m from the tube core location in N, S, E and W directions. At a research site between AB and AT named the ‘Intensive Valley’ (IV), snow depth was measured across a grid with 46 points at intervals of 25, 50 and 100m, and snow density was measured at 9 locations by digging snow pits. Higher resolution snow depth measurements were also taken along a 354 m transect in the IV (which included 3 snow pit locations), with snow depth sampled every 2 m. The relationships between climate, vegetation, topography and snowcover were explored (see attached figure). Summary and implications of findings: In the pre-melt period of 2009, snow depth increases with vegetation height as reflected by the greater mean snow depth in forested areas where blowing snow is trapped. Density was greater in open areas where dense wind crusts form on the snow, and density decreases with vegetation height. Variations in these relationships are due to snow drifts of deeper, less dense snow forming in topographic hollows and sheltered lee slopes in the exposed open areas. Mean SWE was greater in forested areas, however there was not a significant relationship between SWE and vegetation height, likely because in the pre-melt period the greater depth in the forest is compensated for by lower densities. In the pre-melt period the snow depth and density variation isn’t significantly different between the forest and open areas. It is likely that this would change during the melt period when the open areas would melt earlier and at a greater rate thus resulting in patchy, more variable snow cover. There appears to be a clear differentiation in this pre-melt period between clearing and forest in terms of depth and density. Less dense snow in the forested areas results in the winter transport routes concentrating in the open areas, as observed in the field. If a warming climate resulted in earlier snow melt, these transport routes would become unusable earlier in the spring, especially since many of them cross frozen lakes or marsh area. If this area was to be considered for farming and settlement in a warmer, less snow covered climate, proximity of farming sites to patches of birch forest would be an important consideration to optimise soil moisture and fresh water supply in the spring melt period. snow,distribution,vegetation Snow, landscape and people: Modelling variations in snow distribution and melt across the landscape and the implications for human activities The quantity and distribution of snow across landscapes and timing of the spring snowmelt is key to a diverse range of processes, from the hydrological cycle and glaciation through to ecological and human-environment interactions. Many snow-covered landscapes are remote, inaccessible and lack observation data, especially at high resolutions and spanning multi-decadal time periods. Models are therefore valuable tools for understanding and simulating temporal and spatial variations in snow cover. The aim is to determine the most robust method of modelling snow distribution and melt across regional landscapes with limited data availability, and to apply models to understand and project variations in snow cover as a result of landscape and climate change. Physically based, high resolution snow distribution and melt models are tested through fieldwork in Sweden and Norway at research sites with detailed landscape and climate data. The impact of pseudo-limiting input data spatially and temporally on model performance and uncertainty is assessed. Methods of snow model transferral (including parameter estimation and transfer) between areas of different spatial scales and over varying time periods are explored alongside the effects on model uncertainty, with the use of additional field data from research sites in North America and Finland. The impact of variations in topography, vegetation and climate on snow distribution and melt is assessed through both fieldwork and model application. At the field sites in Norway (Heidal, Oppland) and Sweden (Abisko), relationships between snowcover (depth, density and water equivalent) and topography, vegetation and climate are determined, with exploration of the implications for landscape processes and populations. Model scenarios (including projected future climate scenarios) will be applied to look at the impact of variations in climate and vegetation on snowcover, and how this may affect human-environment interactions such as water supplies, farming, reindeer herding, hunting and movement across the landscape. In Greenland, the viability of Norse settlement and Thule Inuit migration are likely to have been influenced by 13th-17th Century climate variations, but what was the role of changing snow and to what extent did human practices affect the snowcover? Understanding how past climate variations and human influence on the landscape have affected snowcover enables current populations to prepare for the potential impacts of future climate change. The most robust method of model transferal (as determined for regions with spatially and temporally limited data) will be used to model snow distribution and melt at the Norse eastern settlement site in Greenland. The impact of variations in climate, vegetation and snowcover on past human-environment interactions will be explored using model scenarios. For example, what was the effect of vegetation removal on snow distribution and water availability? How would a series of particularly cold and heavy snowfall years affect the grazing, hunting and herding opportunities? Similarly, model scenarios can then be used to project how future climate variations and potential human influences on the landscape (i.e. vegetation changes) may affect snowcover, and subsequently Arctic processes. Snow, modelling, Arctic populations Tephrochronology and landscape change in Skaftartunga This project used very high resolution sediment accumulation records to analyse the environmental impact of population changes in this region of Iceland since Landnam, and finished in 2011. The main results are in Richard Streeter's PhD thesis and in publications in PNAS and the Holocene (see links below). Skaftartunga has one of the best resolution tephra records in Iceland - tephra layers from Hekla in 1341 and 1389, Katla 1416, Veidivotn 1477, Katla 1500 and Hekla 1597 document the period before, during and after the 15th century with great precision. This is important because this time sees large changes in the form of two plagues in AD 1402 and AD 1494, which kill c30-50% (Karlsson 1996) of the population. Elsewhere in Europe the black death creates an environmental record of land use regression (e.g. Van Hoof et al. 2007) but thus far there has been no attempt to correlate changes in geomorphology in Iceland with these major demographic events. Through fieldwork in 2008, 2009 and 2010 we have generated a database containing over 220 soil profiles in the region, which consists of nearly 3000 dated tephra layers, and many thousand high resolution (+/- 1mm) photogrammetric measurements of sediment accumulation (further details in the thesis and Holocene paper). This database can be used not only to investigate changes in the period immediately following the plauge in the early 15th Century, but the relationship between population changes and the geomorphic record more generally. By analysing the relationship between climatic records for the region, and population changes over the whole settlement period we hope to begin to quantify how the geomorphic record (which is influenced by many factors) is made. In particular the influence of other major demographic events such as the 1707 smallpox epidemic, 1755 famine and 1783 haze famine will be considered. As part of this analysis agent based population modelling to establish the resilience and recovery time after demographic shock is also being developed. Initial results indicate that there was an easing of landscape pressure after the first plague in AD 1402, which is seen as a reduction in sediment accumulation rates in the period AD 1389-1416 to levels which are comparable to the pre-Landnam level and the lowest in the post Landnam sequence. While this effect is short lived with rates returning to average post-Landnam rates in the period AD 1416-1477, this easing of landscape pressure may have increased overall landscape resilience. This may explain the lag between climatic deterioration in the 14th century and the geomorphic effects appearing in the late 18th century. tephrochronology,little,ice,age,plague,geomorphology,population Geophysical survey at Housa Voe, Papa Stour, Shetland A geophysical survey at Housa Voe, Papa Stour, was undertaken in May 2010. The survey forms part of The Assembly Project. thing, assembly, viking age, medieval Geophysical survey at Tingwall, Shetland The present report summarizes the geophysical survey at Tingwall, which is home of the most important assembly site of Shetland. The survey was undertaken in May 2010 and is part of The Assembly Project. thing, assembly, viking age, medieval The Assembly Project - Meeting-places in Northern Europe AD 400-1500 The Assembly Project – Meeting-places in Northern Europe AD 400-1500 (TAP) is an international collaborative research project. TAP aims to investigate the role of assemblies (things) in the creation of collective identities and emergent kingdoms in medieval Northern Europe (AD 400-1500). Main research questions are: What was the role of assemblies (things) in the creation, consolidation and maintenance of collective identities, emergent polities and kingdoms in early medieval Northern European populations and communities? The project will, in its entirety, contribute an entirely new combined data set for the study of early governance and administrative organisation in the societies of North West Europe. It will achieve a range of objectives including: - the establishment of a relative chronology of assembly sites - new knowledge on the role of assemblies in processes of territorialisation. - a study of how law and collective norms and values were established and enforced onto colonised/conquered areas. - a study of gender perspective concerning power relations and assembly access - a historiography of assemblies and their relevance to the concepts of national identity and statehood thing, assembly, Norse, Iceland, Shetland, Norway The ash-fall from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallaj÷kull, Iceland: The formation of an environmental record, natural and cultural impacts This project will hold workshops to establish the best way to study the transformations and impacts of the volcanic ash fall from 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallaj÷kull, Iceland. This eruption offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new understanding of the formation of the enduring environmental record of eruptions and transform our knowledge of the environmental data preserved within volcanic ash layers. It would also refine our understanding of both past eruptions and their impacts on society and landscape. If the ways in which volcanic ash layers become transformed are better understood, then this could achieve four important goals: 1) we will be able to know more about the nature of the landscape onto which the ash fell and 2) the post depositional environmental processes operating on it; 3) we will be able to have a better idea of the nature of the initial ash fall and so 4) be able to better reconstruct the initial eruption. In the aftermath of the 2010 eruption the social and environmental impacts can be tracked in detail as they happen and it will be possible to discuss unfolding events and their consequences with the affected community. How does volcanic ash affect vegetation, water quality and drainage? What are the impacts on livestock? How does the ash-fall affect grazing, soil erosion and soil fertility? Where the ash was cleared, how was this done? What other impacts (negative and positive) has the eruption caused and how does this affect the viability of farming and other rural activities? Eruption,Eyjafjallaj÷kull,Iceland,tephra,impacts,environment, From Iceland to New Iceland. The Archaeology of 19th-century Emigration 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. 19th-century,,emigration,,Iceland,,New,Iceland Communication, Settlements and Landscape – Social Dimensions in Norse Societies in the Viking and Early Medieval periods (c. 800-1200 AD) This four year PhD project focus on the dynamics between the physcial landscape, communication in various shapes, settlement structure and the society. Focus areas in the Orkneys, Iceland, Greenland and Canada provide the empirical base of the project. The project is concerned with various types of communication within the periods, and analyse active transportation strategies as well as static visual communication between e.g. farm sites or farm sites and travellers. Communication,landscape,settlements,social,transport,cairn,cairns,ships,visual,analysis Arnˇrssta­am˙li A site close to Arnˇrssta­am˙li, E-Iceland, was threatened by imminent roadworks and a preliminary excavation demanded by the National Heritage Agency. Fluorine poisoning in victims of the 1793-84 eruption of the Laki fissure The eruption of the Laki fissure was the greatest calamity to affect Iceland since its settlement. It is estimated that 20% of the population died from starvation and disease. The aim of this project is to investigate causes of death in people who lived near the eruption. Written sources suggest that many may have died from fluorine posining. This is done by observing skeletal material - which first had to be located in graveyards known to have been in use at the time of the eruption. H÷gnasta­ir in Fl˙­ir Ten trenches were dug in H÷gnasta­ir, Fl˙­ir, prior to construction plans. Hßsteinsvegur in Stokkseyri Prior to construction work two trial trenches were excavated in a mound in Stokkseyri, thought to be a possible farm mound. Medieval farm sites trenched in Mřvatnssveit This part of the Landscapes of Settlement project aims to do prelimiary trenching in several sites in the Mřvatn area to acquire dates for settlements, both their establishment and abandonment. Ůegjandadalur Several settlement remains are visible in Ůegjandadalur, S-Ůingeyjarsřsla, which is believed to have been abandoned in the 15th century. The current project aims to do limited excavation to acquire dating evidence for both the establishment of settlement in the valley, and for its abandonment. Furthermore pagan graves have been revealed in one of the sites, IngirÝ­arsta­ir. Midden in Sk˙tusta­ir This project aims to gather archaeofauna and other comparative data from a midden dating back to medieval times in Sk˙tusta­ir, south of lake Mřvatn. Please note this record will not be updated further and up to date details about Sk˙tusta­ir can be found at Brei­afj÷r­ur Islands The islands of Brei­afj÷r­ur are unique, geographically bounded spaces, but often maintained, organized and owned from the mainland. Living on islands was a balance between surviving and living through farming and fishing. However, the communication between the islands created strongly knitted and vibrant communities. It is thought that the islands were settled early and had many good qualities for primary settlement such as easy access to wild resources, e.g. seal and birds; self-contained pasturing areas; as well as good vantage points for a variety of purposes, such as for harbouring and shelter, views and defence. The main archaeological interest is on investigating the community dynamics of the area as seen from its natural and cultural landscape. It is scheduled to investigate many aspects of the islands, for instance how the land was used, its agriculture and food production, access to wild resources, landing spots and harbours, and the impact made by people on vegetation and soil. More generally, the project is investigating farm locations and the farm communities, fishing activities, communications and routes between islands, and non-Christian burials and churches. VaktarabŠr During the renovation of a house in central ReykjavÝk, called VaktarabŠr, it was considered necessary to monitor construction work to avoid damaging archaeology. Trenches were dug to evaluate the extent of cultural remains. Dettifoss In advance of road construction near Dettifoss, N-Iceland, some archaeological sites in Ůingeyjarsřsla had to be investigated. A­alstrŠti 10 Trial trenches were excavated in advance of building construction on the western side of an upstanding house in A­alstrŠti 10, central ReykjavÝk. The aim was to see whether archaeological deposits were present in this area known to be rich of remains from both the 18th century and Viking Age. HrÝsheimar The HrÝsheimar excavation is a part of the larger Landscape of settlements project. The site, dated to the Viking Age, is on the southwestern side of Mřvatn, in a barren and heavily eroded area. Among other things it has extensive iron working remains and well stratified middens. B˙­arhßlsvirkjun Archaeological investigations were carried out in B˙­arhßls prior to the flooding of a stone-built enclosure. This included a measured DGPS survey, a photographic survey, as well as the excavation of four trenches across the walls of the upstanding and visible enclosure. Svalbar­ revisited In 1986 and 1988 midden excavations took place in Svalbar­, N-Ůingeyjarsřsla, revealing one of the largest faunal collections up to that point in Iceland. The results were instrumental in the development of methods and models for reconstructing palaeoeconomies in the N-Atlantic region. In 2008 the Svalbar­ midden was revisited with the aim of refining the stratigraphy and dating, to gather new radiocarbon, geoarchaeological and ecofact samples to supplement landscape history and site fomation reconstructions for the site and for the Svalbard region, and to identify potential locations for further archaeological research. Narfasta­asel Five trial trenches were excavated in Narfasta­asel to value the nature and date of the archaeology. Presth˙s, Akranesi Due to contstruction work machine digging up against the farm-mound Presth˙s, Akranes, was monitored by an archaeologist. A section was cleaned and recorded. Hringsdalur In 2006 human bones were found eroding in Hringsdalur W-Iceland. An excavation was conducted and two pagan burials uncovered. Lyngbrekka In 2003-2005 investigations took place in Lyngbrekka, earlier known as G÷mlu-Da­asta­ir in Reykjadalur, S-Ůing. The aim was to see if folklore and place names could be used as reliable sources to locate pagan burials. Kßlfsskinn, Eyjafir­i In 2003 a few sites in Kßlfskinn, Eyjafj÷r­ur, had been surveyed and identified as possible pagan burials. In 2005 two of those were tested by opening trenches across each concentrations of stones. Hˇlsfj÷ll Trenches were excavated at two alleged farmsites in Hˇlsfj÷ll, N-Ůingeyjarsřsla. The area lies at about 350-450 m above sea level and is one of the highest inhabited areas in Iceland. Gufuskßlar The farm of Gufuskßlar lies on the westernmost tip of the SnŠfellsnes peninsula under the glacier known as SnŠfellsj÷kull. While the farm likely dates to the Viking Age the site was home to a mysterious and intensive commercial fishing venture during the 15th century. A mid-15th century legal document mentioned fourteen fishing booths (seasonally occupied structures intended to house fishers) at the site, although we have not identified this many as they may have succumbed to coastal erosion or other destructive processes. The dried fish product they produced was likely transported back to continental Europe in connection with continental European merchants and/or fishers. The site is significant for its proto-industrial level of dried fish production. It is constructed just after Iceland’s first brush with Bubonic Plague and may be a response to the effects of extreme depopulation. As chiefly/magnate/aristocratic power temporarily waned post-plague it may be that enterprising Icelandic fishers engaged in some sort of proto-capitalism in connection with the English merchants who wielded great influence in Iceland at the time. The fishing station was excavated between 2008 and 2015 by Fornleifastofnun ═slands in partnership with the City University of New York and represents an important resource for understanding Icelandic fisheries history and for broader issues of North Atlantic Maritime Historical Ecology and trade connections. medieval, commercial fishing, fishing, fishing station, cod Bakki, Tj÷rnes In relation to construction work in the farm Bakki, subject to plans for building an aluminium factory, some machine digging took place and was supervised by an archaeologist. Naust The excavation at Naust in the town of Akureyri took place after evaluation trenches had been dug. The work was carried out in advance of building development. Two areas were excavated and some of the archaeology clearly dates to the Viking Age. Hofsta­ir in Ůorskafj÷r­ur The preliminary excavation in Hofsta­ir, Ůorskafj÷r­ur, aimed to shed light on ruins in the homefield often related to pagan activites. Nauthˇll The excavations at the old farm site Nauthˇll, ReykjavÝk, were conducted following on from an evaluation based on trial trenching in advance of a building development. An area of about 300 m2 was excavated. EyvÝk in Tj÷rnes Prior to construction work a trench was excavated through a boundary. Midden in M÷­ruvellir The key aim of this effort was to locate and recover animal bones, artefacts, and environmental samples from a well stratified midden sequence at M÷­ruvellir, in connection with ongoing archaeological work investigating local subsistence strategies in late medieval Eyjafjord. Leirvogstunga Excavations in the farm mound of Leirvogstunga, MosfellsbŠr were carried out in advance of construction plans, first by trenching but later an open excavation was conducted. ReykjavÝk water front The aim of this project was to target possible building remains in the old center and harbour area of ReykjavÝk, between HafnarstrŠti, Pˇsth˙sstrŠti, Geirsgata and LŠkjargata. Rßeyri in Siglufj÷r­ur A ruin endangered by road construction in Siglufj÷r­ur was fully excavated. ١rutˇftir An erosion face was cleaned and recorded in ١rutˇftir northeast of Hofsj÷kull glacier. Kßrahnj˙kar The aim of this project was to evaluate the area in the highlands north of Vatnaj÷kull glacier affected by Hßlslˇn, a reservoir which stores water for use in hydroelectricity, and excavate or record archaeological sites endangered by it. This involved the excavations of several smaller sites such as huts and cairns and also the full investigation of a possible shieling, called Pßlstˇftir. A system of earthworks in S-Ůingeyjarsřsla This project aims to map and investigate an extensive system of medieval earthworks in S-Ůingeyjarsřsla. The project consists of extensive surveys, mapping and excavation. Only the excavation reports are presented here. ┌lfarsß Six evaluation trenches were excavated in three different sites in advance of construction plan in ┌lfarsßrdalur, ReykjavÝk. B˙­atangi, HrÝsey Six trial trenches were dug in B˙­atangi in HrÝsey, Eyjafj÷r­ur, prior to construction work. M÷­ruvellir graveyard A long trench (15 x 2 m) was excavated in the graveyard in M÷­ruvellir, H÷rgßrbygg­, prior to laying heating pipes to the church. Brekka and Da­asta­ir in N˙pasveit Evaluation trenching took place prior to road construction in Da­asta­ir and Brekka, N˙pasveit (NE Iceland) in two sites, several kilometres apart. ┌tskßlar Archaeological evaluation took place at the site of the farm mound in ┌tskßlar due to building construction plans. Later limited excavation was carried out in the farm mound. Post ex work is still in progress. Laugarnes In advance of road construction planning five trenches were excavated close to the old farm mound and graveyard in Laugarnes, ReykjavÝk, to verify the limits of the archaeology. Reykir in Ëlafsfj÷r­ur An archeological investigation was conducted in Reykir in Ëlafsfj÷r­ur in advance of construction plans. Three ruins were fully excavated, a trench excavated through a boundary wall and one cairn investigated. K˙vÝkur The project in K˙vÝkur, a trading site established after the monopoly in 1602, was focussed on a midden which was heavily eroded on one side. A trench was excavated, revealing extensive midden layers dating back to the 18th century. Boundary in M÷­ruvellir A trench was excavated in a boundary wall in M÷­ruvellir, Eyjafj÷r­ur, in advance of road construction plans. Hvolst˙n A trench was excavated in a ruin in Hvolsv÷llur, in a proposed development area, at the request of the National Heritage Agency. SaltvÝk SaltvÝk is a site which holds three clusters of ancient looking ruins without homefield boundaries. The aims of the preliminary investigations in SaltvÝk were to shed light on the dating and nature of the settlement by trenching. Pagan burials Although many pagan graves have been found in Iceland, organised search for such sites has hitherto not been conducted and most have been found by coincidence. In some cases bones and artefacts have been picked up without the site being investigated by an archaeologist. This project aims to establish a methodology to locate pagan graves. Eyri in Skutulsfj÷r­ur The investigation in Eyri farm mound was carried out on behalf of the Town of ═safj÷r­ur in connection with the project "The Westfjords in the Middle Ages". The aim was to understand and realise the research potential of the site by trenching. Rau­askri­a The aim of this excavation was to investigate an enclosure believed to be a graveyard and to locate the possible church within it. Sˇmasta­ager­i An archaeological evaluation was carried out at Sˇmasta­ager­i and Hraun in Rey­arfj÷r­ur on behalf of Alcoa Primary Metals. This was done in advance of construction, and represents the first stage of a process of investigation required to meet the conditions of development constraints imposed by the Archaeological Heritage Agency of Iceland. Ůverß in Íxarfj÷r­ur An archaeological assessment was carried out in the land of Ůverß, Íxarfj÷r­ur, in advance of road construction plans. H÷f­ager­i The aims of the preliminary investigations at H÷f­ager­i were to shed light on the dating and nature of the settlement by trenching and intensive survey. Bangasta­ir og Valadalur Archaeological assessment took place at two sites in Tj÷rnes which were threatened by imminent roadworks. Reykholt church The aim of the project is to fully excavate the remains of the old church in Reykholt. This is the first time the full development of a parish church in Iceland is investigated but most church foundations are not accessible for such research as modern churches have been built on top of them. Up to this point the farm mound has been the main target of an excavation carried out by the National Museum and one of the aims was to find out whether the church was possibly built prior to the farm in Reykholt. According to written sources Reykholt is not the primary farm in the area but Brei­abˇlsta­ur, the farm east of it. It has been speculated whether the church was located at a geothermal location to form a strong and popular community center - hot baths are always sure to attract a crowd. NOTE: More reports belonging to this project were published by the National Museum. Skßlholt The project's overall aims encompass a full investigation and presentation of the latter centuries (17th-19th) of settlement at Skßlholt, as it was prior to its abandonment after an earthquake in 1784 and at the height of its cultural influence in Iceland. The main focus of excavation is on the core of the settlement: The school, student's rooms, Bishop's rooms and other associated staff and ancillary rooms. Steinbogi The site Steinbogi in Mřvatnssveit was threatened by imminent roadworks and therefore the archaeological potential of the endangered parts of it had to be assessed. The site was also considered of possible value for the Landscape of settlements project and in relation to that additional midden trenching was carried out. Assembly sites The project Assembly sites (Ůinghald til forna) aims to revaluate all known assembly sites in Iceland, many of which had been mapped by antiquarians in the 19th and early 20th centuries . The purpose is to shed new light on the age, layout, and function of assemblies in early Icelandic society. Ůjˇrsßrdalur One of the aims of the project "Vestnordisk byggeskik i vikingtid og middelalder" was to revaluate the archaeology of Ůjˇrßrdalur which has held a central place in Icelandic archaeology for one and a half century. Knowledge is hitherto based on survey work from the 19th century and excavations from 1939 and yet structures in Ůjˇrsßrdalur have been used to support the development of Icelandic building customs. Gßsir The well known medieval trade site of Gßsir lies north of Akureyri. The archaeological investigations at Gßsir formed the core of a five year project aimed at typifying remains from the full functional and chronological extent of the site. The project also aimed to enhance the presentation and development of the site as a focus of public interest and amenity. Owing to the tremendous scale and complexity of the surviving remains, only selected portions of the archaeology were targeted for intrusive investigation. A­alstrŠti 14-18 This project aimed to fully excavate all archaeological remains in A­alstrŠti 14-18, ReykjavÝk in advance of proposed development. The area is historically known as an industrial area at the time of "the factories" (InnrÚttingarnar) in the 18th century. However, it was a pleasant surprise to reveal a well preserved Viking Age hall under undisturbed layers predating the factories. HafnarstrŠti 16 During the renovation of an old house in HafnarstrŠti 16, central ReykjavÝk, areas at risk under and up against the house were excavated. Sveigakot The aim of the project was to fully excavate all structures and middens located at Sveigakot, south of lake Mřvatn. The site of Sveigakot was first surveyed in 1998 in an area now completely eroded. Only midden traces were visible on the surface. It soon became clear that the site could be dated to the Viking Age and was therefore ideal for a comparative study with the larger Hofsta­ir project, not least in order to compare the faunal collections from each site. Pagan burial in Ůverß The aim of this project was to investigate a site where bones, believed to derive from a pagan burial, had been found in a gravel mine. Sea wall in ┴lftanes The aim of this project was to investigate a stonebuilt seawall that had to be removed. Vatnsfj÷r­ur The excavation in Vatnsfj÷r­ur forms a part of a larger project called Vestfir­ir ß mi­÷ldum/The Westfjords in the middle ages. The Westfjords have somewhat been neglected in Icelandic archaeology up to this point. The overall aim of the project is to add to knowledge about this important part of the country and shed some light on its economy. Research at Vatnsfj÷r­ur is a multidisciplinary investigation of the rise and decline of the chieftain´s seat at Vatnsfj÷r­ur, and the relationship between this farm´s evolution and the evolution of its surrounding landscape. The project aims to explain why this apparently infertile farm in the Westfjords was chosen as a seat of power, what factors and social processes enabled it to flourish as a social, economic and cultural powerhouse between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, and why the importance of the farm declined after the seventeenth century. Laufßs A trench was excavated along the passage floor in the upstanding farm of Laufßs prior to the construction of new heating pipes under the floor. Ůingvallakirkja Archaeological investigations have been carried out a couple of times next to Ůingvellir church at the request of the Ůingvellir National Park committee. The aim of the first one in 1999 was to look for clues about the predecessors of the modern church, but according to written sources the earliest church in this location was erected in the 16th century. Furthermore, the excavations were to shed light on possible earlier churches and get an idea about the preservation of organic material and tephra layers. The second investigation was carried out in 2006 when the access when it was considered necessary to dig close to the foundations of the church. Glerß The Glerß project started when human bones were accidentally uncovered in a gravel mine close to the farm mound in Glerß in 1998. Later members of the institute were asked to visit the site several times when a grave mound was demolished and more bones came to light. Nes vi­ Seltj÷rn In 1994 the Seltjarnarnes council decided to have archaeological evaluations carried out around the old farm of Nes in Seltjarnarnes. The old farm now houses museums and the area around it is an outdoor activity area for the public. Bones have previously been uncovered close to the farm mound. All this, among other things, has raised interest in the archaeology of the area. Ne­ri ┴s The aim of the project was to excavate an alleged graveyard and church ruin in Ne­ri-┴s. According to written sources this is supposed to be one of the oldest churches in Iceland. Hofsta­ir The Hofsta­ir project aimed at re-excavating and re-evaluating Viking Age remains previously investigated in 1908. This project was the flag-ship project for the Landscape of Settlements project. VÝg­alaug Archaeological investigation was requested before VÝg­alaug (consecrated pool) was repaired before the celebration of the 1000 year anniversary of Christianity in Iceland. Explorer's stories : Ectoparasites and Hygienic studies in North West Greenland From the end of the 19th century through to the beginning of the 20th century Northwest Greenland was frequently visited by explorers and others attempting to reach the reach the North Pole. Their adventures elicited amazing descriptions of the land and its inhabitants. However, not all of the descriptions were positive, nor did they praise some aspects of local Inuit life. Many explorers, such as Robert Peary and Elisha Kent Kane, wrote less than favourable accounts of the personal habits of the Greenland Inuit they encountered. But how accurate were those descriptions? Using archaeoentomology to analyse insects and ectoparasites recovered from several houses, we re-examine these notions. Using spatial analysis to study ectoparasite distribution in different activity areas, and by comparing the samples with those from similar contexts taken from Northern Labrador, we propose a different narrative about personal hygiene amongst the Greenland Inuit of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Ectoparasite,Greenland,Inuit,Inughuit,Explorer,archaeoentomology M÷­ruvellir Ý Hˇrgßrdal M÷­ruvellir is located in H÷rgßrdal, Eyjafj÷r­ur, Northern Iceland. The site lies on open lowland pasture, to the north of the river H÷rgß, some 13 kilometres north of the modern City of Akureyri. M÷­ruvellir is situated only a short distance from the delta of the H÷rgß, and may be regarded as being within a coastal environment. M÷­ruvellir has been a site of considerable importance throughout Icelandic history. It has been the site of a church since at least the second half of the 12th Century (VÚsteinsson, 2001:10), and M÷­ruvellir was established as a House of Canons at the end of the 13th Century. These religious activities were supported by the produce of a large and important farming estate. Previous research at M÷­ruvellir: Archaeological and historical research regarding the farm was undertaken as early as the 19th Century, by Kristian Kaalund (VÚsteinsson, 2001:7). A kuml (burial mound) was unearthed in the 19th Century and therefore it is safe to assume that the area was settled (at least that people were buried there) before the year 1000 AD (Vesteinsson, 2001:10). In 1985, Gu­mundur Ëlafsson of the National Museum of Iceland surveyed the area, and produced a list of archaeological sites. Fornleifastofnun ═slands activity at Gßsir: - 2001 – Orri VÚsteinsson, Expanded archaeological survey and site registration. Including a summary of M÷­ruvellir´s history (VÚsteinsson, 2001). - 2004 – Howell Roberts & Orri VÚsteinsson, Excavation of trenches in the boundary at M÷­ruvellir Farm, in advance of construction work (Roberts, 2004). - 2005 - Howell Roberts, excavation of an evaluation trench in the churchyard; investigative work prior to planned ground works for central heating and path construction (Roberts, 2005) The ceramics and glass objects found during the 2006 (TR1), 2007 (TR1), and 2008 (TR2,TR2b) were analyzed by Gavin Lucas (Lucas 2010) and place the most recent layers in this very deeply stratified midden mound into the 18/19th centuries. Lower deposits are hoped to be dated through C14 analysis and may thus provide proof for a long site-occupation as indicated by written sources. Monastic site, long occupation, H÷rgßrdalur,local-resources,archaeofauna,environment,site-formation- Myrkßrdalur The highland site at Myrkßrdalur contains several ruins, and the early farm ruin is clearly visible: several rooms are connected through a central corridor, reminiscent of medieval houses from Greenland. A landslide in the 14th Century destroyed part of the farm and the occupants were forced to move further west, where several more recent ruins are located (sources cited in Hrei­arsd. 2008:178). Myrkßrdalur was abandoned in 1955 and the land has since been used by the nearest farm, Myrkßrbakki. Midden trenching at different locations in 2008 and 2009 has resulted in a small amount of faunal remains and artefacts, dating the contents to the 17th/18th centuries in trench 1 and the 16th/17th centuries in trench 2. H÷rgßrdalur,local-resources,archaeofauna,environment,site-formation-processes Oddsta­ir The site of Oddsta­ir farm ruins nowadays belong to the land owned by Íxnhˇll farm, once a church farm. The 2009 Midden excavation yielded well preserved animal bones and was sampled for environmental analyses. Tephra analysis and C14 data may confirm an early medieval occupation and 17th Century abandonment of the site. As at Skuggi, several beads were found in 2009 and were analyzed by ElÝn Ë. Hrei­arsdˇttir. This report is part of the 2009 GHP Field Report. A faunal report will be produced in 2010. H÷rgßrdalur,local-resources,archaeofauna,environment,site-formation Ruin site ě47 Bishop's see Gardar AMS,dates Norse Greenland dietary project - Norse Greenland isotope project An initial study of the d13 C values for human bone collagen of 27 Norse Greenlanders in the late 1990's suggested a change in the Norse diet from predominantly terrestrial food to predominantly marine food. The shift may indicate a change in diet; the question left open in the limited initial isotope study was however whether the change in diet is a reflection of altered subsistence strategies or altered farming practises. Furthermore, the first study did not convincingly answer the question as to whether the shift in diet occurred gradually over time or within a few years – and in the last case: when? Also, the limited study did not answer questions such as dietary differences between the two Norse settlements, between individual farms, between the sexes and what kind of marine food was digested. Distinguishing local born from foreign (immigrants?) people is yet another matter of discussion. This new study includes 437 samples. 183 samples are from human bones - 118 are Norse and 65 are Inuit – and 254 samples are from animal bones. The samples are from 19 Norse sites (= farms), 13 are from the Eastern Settlement and six are from the Western Settlement. For comparison, we have also included samples of both humans and animals from 22 Inuit sites. Manuscripts submitted to Journal of the North Atlantic fall 2009. Greenland,Norse,diet,isotopes, Greenland - The Vatnahverfi Project - Settlement, economy, and depopulation. The aim of the programme is to discuss landnam (landtaking) strategies and the later depopulation in the light of the interplay between the two economic spheres of the Norse Greenland Economy: subsistence based on the resources of the local, settled area in South Greenland and foreing long-distance trade based on the North and East Greeland resources. Identity, mobility, communication and human strategies are key concepts and focus are on the interaction between humans (action), systems (structure) and environment. Status Nov. 2009: Except from a few all Norse sites in the Vatnahverfi region have been GPS Surveyed and excavations have been carried out in middens at several farms. A dating programme of the farms in the area has been initiated. xxxx Publications: Madsen, Christian Koch: Fňr, geder og folde i det norr°ne Vatnahverfi. Gr°nland 1 2008:4-14 M°ller, Niels Algreen & Christian Koch Madsen: Med friske skridt i forgŠngeres fodspor. Gr°nland 5-6, 2007:306-314 Jane Benarroch: I nordboernes Fodspor (in the footsteps of the Norse). Polarfronten 1/2008 Bishop, Rosie R., Mike J. Church, Andrew J. Dugmore, Phil Clogg, Christian Koch Madsen & Niels A. M°ller: Palaeoenvironmental Investigations at ě69, Greenland. Submitted to JONA – Journal of the North Atlantic. Uffe Wilken: Mobile nordboer. Polarfronten 1/2010:8-9 Norse,Eastern,Settlement,Vatnahverfi,Settlement,Structure,Economy,Identity,Mobility,Communication Landscape and Subsistence of Dog Island, Labrador This ongoing project has been conducted since 2005 and survey and excavations at six sites, Oakes Bay 1 (or Parngnertok HeCg-08, Koliktalik 6 (HdCg-23), Evilik Bay (HeCg-04), September Harbour (HdCg-15), and Itibliarsuk (HdCg-57). Field seasons in 2005, 2006 and 2007 were conducted by field crews directed by Jim Woollett (Universite Laval) in with collaboration with Cynthia Zutter (MacEwan University) and Najat Bhiry (Universite Laval). Labrador, Nunatsiavut, Dog Island, environmental archaeology, settlement patterns, sea ice Undir Junkarinsfl°tti Excavations of this extensive coastal erosion site occurred between 2003 and 2007. Faroes,Norse,coastal,erosion Heart of the Atlantic: cultural landscapes of Sandoy, Faroe Islands This inter-disciplinary project investigates the changing cultural and natural landscapes on the island of Sandoy, from first settlement to modern time. Archaeological investigations are focusing on the extensive excavations at Undir Junkarinsfl÷tti, ┴ Sondum and Vid Kirkjard in the village of Sandur. Principle funding bodies: Anadarko (Faroes), Faroese Research Council (Faroes), Leverhulme Trust (UK) and National Science Foundation (US). Faroes,archaeology Everley Broch The site of Everley Broch, situated in Caithness, is composed of a Middle Iron Age broch and a Late Norse house. This project aimed to study the human/plant interaction on the site and see its evolution through time. The archaeobotanical assemblage shows that hulled barley was the main staple crop cultivated in both periods. The Late Norse assemblage also indicates the introduction of cultivated oat and flax as well as a general intensification of the agricultural production. The archaeobotanical assemblage, combined with some pollen analysis, indicates that the local environment around the site was free of dense woodland. Regarding the wood procurement strategies, local gathering, short-distance timber trade within the mainland and collection of driftwood are attested. It is proposed that a long-distance trade network within the Scottish mainland or Scandinavia was established during the Norse period as a fourth wood supply strategy. Everley Broch macroplant remains indicates that the broch was housing farmers with a subsistence-based economy. The Late Norse household however proposes a wealthier economy with three cultivated plants and the establishment of a long-distance trade network. Within a wider Atlantic Scotland framework, Everley Broch follows the general agricultural patterns observed elsewhere. The main wood procurement strategy is similar to the other sites of Caithness and Sutherland, but differs slightly from the ones seen in the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland islands. As Everley Broch is located on the Scottish mainland where more timber is available, it is believed that driftwood was not as important as for the other sites of Atlantic Scotland. Archaeobotany,,Broch,,Iron,Age,,Norse The Operation of International Trade in Iceland and Shetland c. 1400-1700 The project will examine the development, operation and impact of European trade in two areas in the north Atlantic - Iceland and Shetland. In the early 15th century both were part of the Danish kingdom but, with the pledging of Shetland in 1469, it passed to the kingdom of Scotland, and led to the opening of trade to Hanse merchants. The lifting of Danish restrictions on Icelandic trade in 1490 had a similar effect. The period of trade extended in Shetland until ca. 1700, while in Iceland the restriction of trade to licensed Danish vessels in 1602 marks a similar endpoint. By far the largest item of trade from both islands was stockfish which was purchased from local fishermen who operated in small vessels inshore. English fishing vessels worked the offshore waters. Our aim is to examine selected places of trade between merchants from the south and the sub-Arctic populations to elucidate the method of operation of commerce. The objective will be to survey and classify trading sites in Iceland and Shetland during the period ca. 1400-1700. Sites will be identified using historical sources and place-names, and located in the field using the normal archaeological techniques of aerial photography and field inspection of earthworks. The survey will be undertaken using differential GPS to map the sites in relationship to the local topography with the further objective of identifying sites for future investigation by excavation. Hanseatic League,trade,fish,Middle Ages,post-medieval Hagrie's B÷d From the early sixteenth century, perhaps even from the second decade of the fifteenth century, ships from north Germany made there way across the north Atlantic to Shetland. The main item of trade for the Hanseatic traders was dried fish which was obtained at the trading places in Norway, Iceland, Faroes as well as the Northern Isles of Scotland and brought back to the northern German ports. The character of this trade has yet to be investigated in detail. Although the bare historical outlines of commerce are known, the details of the interaction between the merchants from northern Germany who spent three, four or five months trading fish with the people of the Northern Isles still remain obscure. The small trading site at Gunnister Voe in Shetland is one of the better documented trading sites. The right to trade at Gunnister Voe was granted to Simon Hagarskale of Hamburg in 1582, but revoked in 1603 because it was said that he had not always come there. This is evidently Simon Harriestede mentioned in Hamburg records as sailing to Shetland until 1625. The trading site can be identified with the place known as Hagrie’s B÷d in Gunnister Voe, a rocky promontory projecting into the voe. Immediately behind the promontory is beach with an enclosure which would have been suitable for landing boats bringing dried fish to exchange. The Hamburg ship would have been anchored out in the voe in deeper water. Excavations by Queen’s University and R÷misch-Germanische Kommission in September 2008 examined the site and revealed the surviving two walls of the b÷d or booth. However, deposits below the floor level contained pottery of the 18th or 19th century, suggesting the site had continued in use or, more probably, had been reoccupied when the adjoining crofts at the Setter of Enisferth were established. The building is shown as abandoned on 1881 Ordnance Survey plan, though the remains were evidently clear enough for the surveyors to map them. Hanseatic League,trade,fish,sitophilus,granarius Skuggi Skuggi is an upland small sized farming site in H÷rgßrdalur, Eyjafj÷r­ur and may have been a tenant farm in the earlier Middle Ages, as part of the Sta­artunga landholdings. Sta­ardunga is assumed to have been connected to the medieval monastery at M÷­ruvellir, situated within 5 km of the medieval trading site at Gßsir. As at Oddsta­ir, several beads were found in 2009 and were analyzed by ElÝn Ë. Hrei­arsdˇttir. This report and the finds analysis by Gu­r˙n A. GÝsladˇttir et al. are part of the 2009 GHP Field Report. The report of the 2008 and 2009 faunal analysis is now available. H÷rgßrdalur,local-resources,archaeofauna,environment,site-formation-processes Study of local subsistence and trans-Atlantic regional trading economy in medieval Iceland Goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the interaction of local subsistence and trans-Atlantic regional trading economy in medieval Iceland by collecting faunal materials and other environmental data from deeply stratified middens associated with archaeological sites in Eyjafj÷r­ur in the Northeast of Iceland. The Gßsir hinterlands project (GHP) aims at the integration of documentary sources, site-focused environmental archaeology, and an integrative regional landscape approach to better understand economic and environmental relationships of farms within the Eyjafj÷r­ur region that played an integral part in the food supply and exchange net connected with activities at the Gßsir market place. Trade,Exchange,Zooarchaeology,Gßsir,midden,excavations The Hvalsey Fjord farms - Excavations at the The ruins at ruin site ě83a were first recorded and excavated by Aage Roussell in 1935. Originally eight ruins and three cooking pits were recorded. To day four of the ruins have been removed owing to modern cultivation. Roussell's report on the 1935-excavations is very brief and the excavations in 2004 were to look into the state of the remaining ruins and – if possible – to collect material for radiocarbon dating. In 2004 trenches (2 x 4 m) were made in ruin no. 20 (one trench) and ruin no. 22 (three trenches). The excavations in ruin 20 showed that Roussell's 1935-excavations had been comprehensive here and not much was left. It was however possible to conclude that the house had functioned for a short period only. The excavations in ruin 22 revealed a single-phase house with flagged floors. This house too had functioned for a short period only. No material for radiocarbon dating was collected. After his 1935-excavation Roussell concluded that the site had no dwelling and he interpreted the buildings at ě83a as byres, stables and barns calling the site a "dairy farm" connected to the adjacent high status farm Hvalsey fjord farm and church, ruin site ě83 (Roussell 1941). House 20 had a byre in the western part of the building and most probably it had a dwelling in the eastern end (see also: VÚsteinsson 2008). The ground plan of the houses, the layout of the site and the fact that the houses seem to have been used for at short period suggest that the farm was built at an early stage – most probably at landnam and abandoned shortly after. Two explanations for this early abandonment seem possible 1) that the area was taken over by the nearby high status farm at Hvalsey (ě83) or 2) the farm ě83a was a predecessor for the Hvalsey ě83 farm (VÚsteinsson 2005). References Roussell, Aage 1941. Farms and Churches in the Mediaeval Norse Settlements of Greenland. Meddelelser om Gr°nland vol. 89(1). Copenhagen VÚsteinsson, Orri 2008. Archaeological investigations in Hvalseyjarfj÷r­ur, Eystribygg­ 2005. Fornleifastofnun ═slands. FS388-05301. ReykjavÝk Jette Arneborg, Fuuja Larsen & Niels-Christian Clemmensen, 2009: The "Dairy Farm" of the Hvalsey Fjord Farm. Journal of the North Atlantic. Selected papers from the Hvalsey Conference 2008. Special Volume 2:24-29 Collaborators Georg Nyegaard, Greenland National Museum & Archives, Nuuk. Then head of Qaqortoq Museum. Fuuja Larsen, Greenland National Museum & Archives, Nuuk Niels-Christian Clemmensen, KUAS, The Heritage Agency of Denmark. Hvalsey,Fjord,farm,church, Akurvik Excavations 1990 The site of Akurvik was discovered by Haukur Johanneson in 1987 when beach erosion exposed a series of midden deposits and what proved to be a series of small turf walled booth structures superposed over an 18 m long erosion face at the small embayment at Akurvik at the tip of a rocky peninsula approximately 3 km NE of the Gjogur farm mound. This site was not recorded historically, and seems to have been long abandoned (perhaps due to ongoing uplift making the landing impractical)by the time of the Jardabok survey. The 1990 Strandasysla Historical Ecology project carried out a rescue excavation, cutting back the erosion face to provide a profile and attempting to stablize the exposed deposits. A very large archaeofauna (made up almost entirely of fish bones) was recovered from two major horizons (associated with successive booth structures) dated by radiocarbon to the early and later Middle Ages respectively. The archaeofauna and a summary of the site is published in: Colin Amundsen , Sophia Perdikaris , Thomas H. McGovern , Yekaterina Krivogorskaya , Matthew Brown , Konrad Smiarowski, Shaye Storm, Salena Modugno, Malgorzata Frik, Monica Koczela (2005) ‘Fishing Booths and Fishing Strategies in Medieval Iceland : an Archaeofauna from the of AkurvÝk, North-West Iceland’, Environmental Archaeology 10,2 : 141-198. Iceland,Fishing,Medieval,,Fishing,Station,Zooarchaeology,NW,Iceland,Strandasysla Gjogur Excavations 1990 The site of Gjogur is a substantial farm mound now associated with a small boat landing. Gjogur is historically known to be an early settlement, and the deeply stratified midden deposits sampled in 1990 indicate a long period of occupation. The 1990 season saw a cutting back of a profile exposed by a 1920's silage (surhey) pit, which had exposed over 2 m of stratified midden deposit. Note that the 2009 excavation did not reach the lowest layers due to water flooding and the lowest layers have not been sampled. This site would certainly repay more investigation, and additional lab work continues on the remainder of the 1990 archaeofauna. Gjogur appears as a farm heavily engaged in fishing and fish processing. Iceland,Strandasysla,Zooarchaeology,Fishing,Early,Modern,Medieval,NW,Iceland Finnbogastadir Rescue Excavation 1990 In 1990 construction work around the modern farm house at Finnbogastadir (Arneshreppur, Strandasysla, NW Iceland) hit a stratified midden deposit that produced substantial amounts of well preserved bone and artifacts dating to the 18th to early 19th century. After consultation with the National Museum of Iceland and with the kind permission and active help of the farm family members of the Strandasysla Historical Ecology project worked to recover and document the archaeological deposits disturbed by the construction work. While the farm midden is exceptionally deep and certainly extends further back in time, the 1990 excavations (carried out by then-graduate students Jim Woollett and Sophia Perdikaris) were limited to what was required in this rescue situation, and the materials recovered all seem to relate to the 18th-early 19th c. The Jardabok land survey thus provided closely contemporary historical evidence for the same period, allowing a tentative connection to the two historical households who shared tenantry at Finnbogastadir in the early 18th c. See: Perdikaris, Sophia, Thomas H McGovern, Yekaterina Krivogorskaya, M. Waxman Early Modern Fisher-Farmers at Finnbogasta­ir and Gj÷gur in Northwest Iceland, (2004) R. Gonzales (ed) Presence of the Archaeo- ichthyology in Mexico, ICAZ Fish Remains Working Group 2003, Guadalajara Mexico pp 139-144. Edvardsson, R., Perdikaris, S., McGovern, T. H., Zagor, N. and Waxman, M. (2004) Coping with hard times in North-West Iceland: Zooarchaeology, History, and Landscape Archaeology at Finnbogasta­ir in the 18th century’, Archaeologica Islandica 3, 20-48. Iceland,Fishing,Zooarchaeology,Strandasysla,Finnbogastadir,Early,Modern Strandasysla Historical Ecology Project 1988-90 This project was a joint collaboration between City University of NY (Tom McGovern) and the National Museum of Iceland (Gudmundur Olafsson) with active collaboration by the Icelandic Natural History Institute (Haukur Johanneson)and the kind support of the people of Arneshreppur in Strandasysla, West Fjords, NW Iceland. The project was an early attempt to connect multiple site investigations (aimed at midden sampling rather than structures)into a landscape-focused investigation of changing human use of terrestrial and marine resources. The project involved site survey and location, and the excavation of midden deposits at the sites of Finnbogastadir (early modern deposits sampled), Gjogur (deeply stratified midden extending to early middle ages) and Akurvik (middens and small fishing booth structures dating from mid 13th- late 15th centuries. The region is very rich archaeologically, with generally excellent conditions of organic preservation and very little of the systematic field-flattening that has erased archaeological deposits in other parts of Iceland. Publication of the large Akurvik archaeofauna and the smaller 18th-early 19th c Finnbogastadir archaeofauna is completed and an initial report on the Gjogur materials are available. More work is planned in this region beginning in 2009 (led by Ragnar Edvardsson) and a PhD project (Frank Feeley, CUNY) is planned using the new and 1988-90 archaeofauna. For more information on the old 1988-90 work contact Tom McGovern (, for information on the new projects contact Ragnar Edvardsson ( West Fjords Iceland, Historical Ecology, Zooarchaeology, Fishing, Iceland Sk˙tusta­ir Excavation Sk˙tusta­ir is an active farm and hotel center on the south side of Lake Myvatn. It figures in sagas as the home of "Killer Skuta", an early chieftain, and historically was one of two parish church centers in the Myvatn area and has remained one of the most prosperous farms down to modern times. In 2007 Dr. Arni Einarsson of the nearby Myvatn Science Center noticed animal bones and charcoal eroding from previously unsuspected midden deposits south of the present farm dwellings. Follow up work by collaborating FSI and NABO teams (led by Orri Vesteinsson, Agusta Edwald, Tom McGovern, George Hambrecht, Ian Simpson and Astrid Ogilive) in 2007 and 2008 has revealed a deeply stratified set of midden deposits with excellent organic preservation. Test trenches in 2008 have allowed for collection of ecofacts and artefacts datable by a combination of tephra and AMS C14 from first settlement (cultural deposits are directly upon the AD 871+/-2 Landnßm tephra) down to the late 19th c. Analysis is still in preliminary stages and a much larger excavation is planned for 2009-10, but initial results suggest some significant changes in economy through time, including a surprisingly substantial amount of seal bones deposited post-1477 (Sk˙tusta­ir is about 60 km from the sea). Skutustadir,Iceland,Zooarchaeology Landscapes of Settlement and Change: Long term human ecodynamics in Mřvatnssveit Iceland,ecodynamics,historical,ecology,Myvatn