Fluorine poisoning in victims of the 1793-84 eruption of the Laki fissure

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Project Connections:This project is not linked to any other projects

Project Details

Title:Fluorine poisoning in victims of the 1793-84 eruption of the Laki fissure
Abstract: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.
Project Start Year:2005
Projected End Year:2006

Account Owner

Contact: Fornleifastofnun Íslands
Postal Address: Bárugata 3, 101 Reykjavík, ICELAND
Post Code: 101
Telephone: 00354-5511033
Website: http://www.instarch.is
Email: fsi@instarch.is

Project Content

PDF File
Fluorine poisoning in victims of the 1783-84 eruption of the Laki fissure, Iceland. Eystri Ásar & Búland ¿ pilot study excavation report [0.70 MB]
Two graveyards were the targets of excavation: Eystri Ásar and Búland. Test pits were excavated first in order to locate graves of the correct date, using tephra. Two skeletons were excavated in Eystri-Ásar but judging from finds they post-date the eruption by at least 50 years. Only one skeleton was retrieved from the graveyard in Búland. No signs were found of fluorosis in any of the skeletons.

Project Location

Latitude: 63.790069°N
Longitude: 18.391113°W