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Project Details

Abstract:The aim of this project was to evaluate the area in the highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier affected by Hálslón, a reservoir which stores water for use in hydroelectricity, and excavate or record archaeological sites endangered by it. This involved the excavations of several smaller sites such as huts and cairns and also the full investigation of a possible shieling, called Pálstóftir.
Project Start Year:2004
Projected End Year:2005

Account Owner

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

Project Content

PDF File
Rannsókn á Sjö Fornleifum Sem Fara Undir Hálslón viđ Kárahnjúka [8.16 MB]
In 2004 seven archaeolocigal sites, which will be sunken by Hálslón, a reservoir which stores water for use in hydroelectricity, were excavated or recorded. 1) The ruin of a sheperd´s rest hut was fully excavated. It was not dateble by tephra but all finds, mostly related to food and drink, date to the 19th century. 2) A cairn was excavated, erected either in the 13th-14th centuries or late 19th/early 20th centuries. 3) Possible walls some 600 m south of the cairn were trenched and proved to be natural features. 4-5) Two stone built foundations of a ropeway conveyor were excavated and one of them is dated to the 19th century pre 1875. 6) A wall enclosing a natural depression was not dateable with tephra but it is known from oral sources that it was still in use in the mid 20th century. 7) A sheperd´s rest hut still under roof was thouroughly measured, recorded and some trenches were excavated to try and establish a date and observe the nature of the cultural remains. It seems that the oldest part of it has two phases. Finds retrieved are all late 19th century.

PDF File
Fornleifauppgröftur á Pálstóftum viđ Kárahnjúka 2005 [12.56 MB]
In late 2005 ruins in the highlands east of Jökulsá in Brú were excavated - in an area which has now been sunken by Hálslón, a reservoir which stores water for use in hydroelectricity. It has been speculated whether the site could be Reykjasel shieling, mentioned in Hrafnkels saga. This can of course not be verified and now the ruins are often referred to as Pálstóftir, named after the man who discovered them. The results are very interesting. Two ruins were revealed, one is simple, thought to be an enclosure for animals, and the other has three rooms with hearths and floor layers. Both are dated to between 950 and 1070. Floor layers in the larger ruin point to seasonal occupation and at this point the site is interpreted as a shieling.

Project Location

Latitude: 64.91588°N
Longitude: 15.836452°W