Reykholt church

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

Project Details

Title:Reykholt church
Abstract:The aim of the project is to fully excavate the remains of the old church in Reykholt. This is the first time the full development of a parish church in Iceland is investigated but most church foundations are not accessible for such research as modern churches have been built on top of them. Up to this point the farm mound has been the main target of an excavation carried out by the National Museum and one of the aims was to find out whether the church was possibly built prior to the farm in Reykholt. According to written sources Reykholt is not the primary farm in the area but Breiđabólstađur, the farm east of it. It has been speculated whether the church was located at a geothermal location to form a strong and popular community center - hot baths are always sure to attract a crowd. NOTE: More reports belonging to this project were published by the National Museum.
Project Start Year:2002
Projected End Year:2007

Account Owner

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

Project Content

PDF File
Reykholtskirkja: Fornleifarannsókn 2002 [0.53 MB]
Excavation of the church in Reykholt was started this year. A ruin was visible on the surface prior to excavation south of the current church. A trench, 8 x 5 m was opened across the SE corner of the ruin. The church foundations were revealed along with at least sex graves. Four phases of construction were revealed along with a structure, possibly a passage/tunnel . In connection with the Reykholt excavation geophysical surveys took place in Stafholt where it was thought that earlier phases of churches were in the graveyard. A regular anomaly of high resistance was found in the centre of the survey area, possibly a structure, but this needs to be confirmed by excavation. The survey forms a part of a broader assessment of archaeological prospection techniques in Iceland.

PDF File
Reykholtskirkja: Fornleifarannsókn 2003 [0.55 MB]
In 2003 the church excavation in Reykholt was continued. This season only the latest phase was under investigation, from the church erected in 1835. The outcome of the excavation seems to match written descriptions from the 19th century. 41 graves were located, around and within the church of which 4 were excavated. Remains of older churches are visible in grave sections and await further excavation.

Project Location

Latitude: 64.667354°N
Longitude: 21.30269°W