The Siglunes Project: Long-term Investigations of Marine Economy in Eyjafjörður

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Project Details

Title:The Siglunes Project: Long-term Investigations of Marine Economy in Eyjafjörður
Abstract: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.

Keywords:Iceland, terrestrial & marine resources, long-term occupation, subsistence vs. commercial fisheries
Sponsors/Funders: NABO
Region:Eyjafjörður, Siglufjörður, Siglunes Peninsula
Project Start Year:2011

Account Owner

Contact: Ramona Harrison
Institution: Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen
Postal Address: Øysteinsgate 3, 5020 Bergen
Post Code: 5020

Project Collaborators

Name: Birna Lárusdóttir
Institution: Institute of Archaeology, Iceland
Address: Bárugata 3, Reykjavík
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland
Name: Howell M. Roberts
Institution: Icelandic Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, FSÍ
Address: Bárugata 3, Reykjavík
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland

Project Content

PDF File
Fornleifaskráning í Hvanneyrarhreppi II: Minjar í Siglufirði (sunnan Siglufjarðarbæjar og austan fjarðar), Héðinsfirði og Hvanndölum Ritstjóri: Birna [13.16 MB]
Survey report by Birna Lárusdóttir (edt.)2008. Information on the Hvanneyrarhreppur archaeological remains, including a thorough survey of the Siglunes ruins.

PDF File
Siglunes Field Report 2011 [5.77 MB]
Report on the initial excavation season, listing all the ruins and providing profile drawings, matrices, and information on erosion stage of the various structures related to Viking Age and later fishing activities. This report also provides assessment of the structural, archaeofaunal, and artefactual remains. Tephra assessment by M. Sigurgeirsson included.

PDF File
Siglunes_preliminary_zooarch_report [1.26 MB]
This is a faunal report by Ramona Harrison, providing preliminary results from the 2011-13 rescue excavations at Siglunes.

icon Siglunes blog 2012
Information on the 2012 Siglunes field season.

icon Siglunes blog 2011
Background on the Siglunes Project

icon Fornleifar við Siglunes Úttekt by Þór Hjaltalín and Sólborg Una Pálsdóttir
This is a report provided by the Icelandic Heritage Agency, Minjastofnun Íslands (formerly Fornleifavernd ríkisins), written by Þór Hjaltalín and Sólborg Una Pálsdóttir. The site background, information on structural remains, and erosion phases observed over several decades are presented here.

Project Location

Latitude: 66.196794°N
Longitude: 18.856298°W