Strandasysla Historical Ecology Project 1988-90

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Parent Project Details
Parent Project Title:CUNY Strandasysla Historical Ecology Project 1988-90
Sub Projects: Akurvik Excavations 1990
Finnbogastadir Rescue Excavation 1990
Gjogur Excavations 1990

Project Details

Title:Strandasysla Historical Ecology Project 1988-90
Abstract: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 (
Keywords:West Fjords Iceland, Historical Ecology, Zooarchaeology, Fishing, Iceland
Sponsors/Funders: US National Science Foundation (Archaeology)
Icelandic National Museum
Project Start Year:1988
Projected End Year:1990

Account Owner

Contact: Thomas H McGovern
Institution: City University New York
Postal Address: Dept Anthropology

Hunter College CUNY

695 Park Ave

New York NY 10021

Post Code: 10021
Telephone: 001 2152970373

Project extent

North East Coordinates: 66.47821°N, 21.00586°W
South West Coordinates: 65.76673°N, 22.54395°W