Find more projects in Iceland

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

Project Details

Abstract:Archaeological investigations have been carried out a couple of times next to Žingvellir church at the request of the Žingvellir National Park committee. The aim of the first one in 1999 was to look for clues about the predecessors of the modern church, but according to written sources the earliest church in this location was erected in the 16th century. Furthermore, the excavations were to shed light on possible earlier churches and get an idea about the preservation of organic material and tephra layers. The second investigation was carried out in 2006 when the access when it was considered necessary to dig close to the foundations of the church.
Project Start Year:1999
Projected End Year:2006

Account Owner

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

Project Content

PDF File
Fornleigfarnnsókn viš Žingvallakirkju [1.78 MB]
The 1999 excavation revealed that the earliest church foundation, possibly from a wooden church, under the modern church dates to the early 16th century. Geophysical survey was carried out in the corner of the graveyard and soma anomalies found, possibly natural but could be the remains of earlier churches. In addition to these results the remains of a booth were located some 6 m north of the modern church. It had long been abandoned by 1500 but clearly postdates a layer dated by a coin from the 11th century. In addition it was revealed that the soil in the Žingvellir homefield - at least in the area under investigation - is not "in situ" but has been moved from elsewhere to improve the barren lava before the initial cultivation of the homefield.

PDF File
Könnunarskuršir viš kirkjuna į Žingvöllum [0.31 MB]
Archaeological evaluation took place at Žingvellir in advance of construction work to improve access to the church. Three test pits were excavated, intended to determine whether or not the current foundations of the church are dug down to bedrock, and to investigate the structural stability of the church. The church foundation clearly rests upon an earlier layer of stone rubble. One fragment of pottery was dated to the 18th-19th centuries.

Project Location

Latitude: 64.260103°N
Longitude: 21.124267°W