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Project Details

Abstract:Between 2005 and 2006 archaeologists from Fornleifastofnun Íslands (Icelandic Institute of Archaeology) conducted excavations at the coastal site of Útskalar, 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.

Gúðrun Alda Gísladóttir (FSÍ) is the post-excavation project manager and questions regarding the faunal remains can be directed to Megan T. Hicks (CUNY) meganthicks@gmail.com

Keywords:Zooarcheology, faunal remains, Útskalar, Iceland
Sponsors/Funders: FSÍ Fornleifastofnun Íslands
City University of New York
Region:Southwest Iceland
Project Start Year:2005

Account Owner

Contact: Megan Hicks
Postal Address: Hunter College Anthropology,695 Park Ave, NYC NY
Post Code: 10065
Telephone: 9177444795
Email: meganthicks@gmail.com

Project Location

Latitude: 64.077779°N
Longitude: 22.667253°W