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Parent name: Mıvatn Landscapes Project

Project Details

Abstract:The site Steinbogi in Mıvatnssveit was threatened by imminent roadworks and therefore the archaeological potential of the endangered parts of it had to be assessed. The site was also considered of possible value for the Landscape of settlements project and in relation to that additional midden trenching was carried out.

Project Start Year:2002
Projected End Year:2002

Account Owner

Contact: Fornleifastofnun Íslands
Postal Address: Bárugata 3, 101 Reykjavík, ICELAND
Post Code: 101
Telephone: 00354-5511033

Project Content

PDF File
Fornleifarannsókn á Steinboga í Mıvatnssveit 2002 [1.38 MB]
A part of the site Steinbogi, Mıvatnssveit, was threatened by imminent roadworks and the investigation in 2002 involved two stages. First the archaeological potential of the threatened part of the site was assessed using surface modelling, geophysical prospection and trenching. All this confirmed the anomalous nature of earthworks previously identified as archaeological features but did not find evidence for further structural remains. Three trenches uncovered structural remains: a field boundary built after c. 950 and before 1158 in trench I, and building remains, ruined before 1300 in trenches II and V (areas E and B respectively). After the archaeological nature of the anomalies in areas E and B had been confirmed it was decided to undertake excavations of these as they were due to disappear under the new road. In area E a part of a building, divided in three cells was uncoverd. This building, believed to have been built in the 10th or 11th c. is interpreted as a sheephouse.

PDF File
Landscapes of settlement 2002. Reports on investigations at five medieval sites in Mıvatnssveit [5.64 MB]
In 2002 a few medieval sites in Mıvatnssveit were trenched in connection with the Landscape of settlements project, with the aim of gaining better understanding of how the settlement process evolved. Steinbogi was one of them, but some structures there were excavated further due to road construction plans. The homefield boundary in Steinbogi was in use between 950 and 1158 and the farm was most likely abandoned before the 1158 tephra was deposited although some activity is visible later. A substantial faunal collection was retrieved from a midden, showing an unusual pattern with sheep dominating cattle. It´s not least therefore interesting that a ruin excavated close to the planned road was interpreted as a sheephouse. The second place trenched was Brenna where two parallel boundaries were excavated and both had fallen out of use before 1158. The midden seems to be well preserved. Oddastağir south of Sveigakot has homefield boundaries in use between 950-1158, af farm mound settled at the same time and some activity between 1158-1300. Furthermore activity is visible between 1477-1717, but according to written sources the place was inhabited for some time around 1680. The fourth place, Stöng, was most likely abandoned before 1300 and "viğ Víğiker", a small site, has a homefield boundary that collapsed before 1158. The abandonment of many of the sites can not obviously be explained by environmental factors so explanations must be seeked elsewhere.

Project Location

Latitude: 65.595157°N
Longitude: 17.177179°W