M÷­ruvellir Ý Hˇrgßrdal

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Parent name: Gßsir Hinterlands Project

Project Details

Title:M÷­ruvellir Ý Hˇrgßrdal
Abstract: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.

Keywords:Monastic site, long occupation, H÷rgßrdalur,local-resources,archaeofauna,environment,site-formation-
Sponsors/Funders: Fornleifasjˇ­ur
Project Start Year:2006
Projected End Year:2008

Account Owner

Contact: Ramona Harrison
Institution: Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen
Postal Address: ěysteinsgate 3, 5020 Bergen
Post Code: 5020
Email: Ramona.Harrison@uib.no

Project Collaborators

Name: ElÝn Ë. Hrei­arsdˇttir
Institution: Institute of Archaeology, Iceland
Address: Bßrugata 3 , ReykjavÝk
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland
Email: elin@instarch.is
Website: http://www.instarch.is/instarch/english/
Name: Howell M. Roberts
Institution: Icelandic Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, FS═
Address: Bßrugata 3, ReykjavÝk
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland
Email: howell@instarch.is
Website: http://www.instarch.is
Name: Orri VÚsteinsson
Institution: Icelandic Archaeological Institute ( FS═), University of Iceland
Address: Bßrugata 3 , ReykjavÝk
Postcode: 101
Country: Iceland
Email: orri@instarch.is
Website: http://www.instarch.is

Project Content

PDF File
The Midden at M÷­ruvellir 2006 Preliminary Excavation Report [0.40 MB]
Results from the 2006 Evaluation trench Prior to excavation an area to the west of Stefßnsfjˇs, (the northwestern portion of the extant farm mound) was identified as being the likely historic Ískuhˇll. This area was then assessed by test coring, using a 25mm manual corer. An area 2m in width and 5m in length, located at the western edge of the ash hill was excavated. This trench immediately proved to contain a well preserved and well stratified sequence of bone rich peat ash deposits – and all further work was focused on this trench. Harrison, R. and H. M. Roberts, 2007.

PDF File
The Midden at M÷­ruvellir, 2007 Preliminary Excavation Report [1.09 MB]
Between July 31st and August 10th 2007, FSI and CUNY continued excavation of an evaluation trench begun in the summer of 2006. This aimed at investigating the nature and preservation of faunal remains at the so-called Ash Hill (Ískuhˇll) at M÷­ruvellir, in H÷rgßrbygg­, Eyjafj÷r­ur.

PDF File
Midden Excavation at M÷­ruvellir, and Prospection in H÷rgßrdalur Interim Field Report Gßsir Hinterlands Project 2008 [2.18 MB]
In June and August 2008 international teams cooperated in carrying out a program of survey, coring, and small scale test excavation on selected sites in the Eyjafjord region in Northern Iceland. This was the first season of a planned multi-season collaborative investigation of the hinterlands surrounding the medieval seasonal trading center at Gßsir (Roberts 2004; Roberts et al, 2002-2006; Harrison et al 2006 – 2008; Harrison, 2006-2008).

PDF File
M÷­ruvellir in H÷rgßrdalur, N. Iceland: General Overview of the Archaeofauna Analyzed from the 2006-08 Midden Mound Excavations. [0.98 MB]
This report presents results on faunal analysis from the M÷­ruvellir Midden Mound, or Ískuhˇll, adjacent to the site’s extensive farm mound. M÷­ruvellir, likely a chieftain’s farm during the Settlement period, became House of Canons/Augustinian Monastery in the late 13th C, and remained an important ecclesiastical center even after the Reformation. The M÷­ruvellir faunal collections include materials from the 13th to the 19th/20th c.

PDF File
Insect remains from the midden at M÷­ruvellir Status of the analysis and preliminary results by Veronique Forbes [0.89 MB]
This report focuses on the archaeoentomological analyses – the analysis of preserved insect remains – which were undertaken on samples from M÷­ruvellir as part of the GHP project. Methods employed for the collections of archaeoentomological data in the field and in the laboratory are presented along with some preliminary results. Figure

icon Preliminary_Textile_Report_M÷­ruvellir_Iceland_2011_M.H.Smith
This textile report by Michele Hayeur Smith from the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University lists the results from preliminary analysis on the M÷­ruvellir textiles. All of the analyzed textiles were recovered from the medieval deposits of the M÷­ruvellir Midden Mound during the 2006-08 midden excavation seasons.

Project Location

Latitude: 65.773839°N
Longitude: 18.254012°W