ReykjavÝk water front

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Project Details

Title:ReykjavÝk water front
Abstract:The aim of this project was to target possible building remains in the old center and harbour area of ReykjavÝk, between HafnarstrŠti, Pˇsth˙sstrŠti, Geirsgata and LŠkjargata.
Project Start Year:2006
Projected End Year:2007

Account Owner

Contact: Fornleifastofnun ═slands
Postal Address: Bßrugata 3, 101 ReykjavÝk, ICELAND
Post Code: 101
Telephone: 00354-5511033

Project Content

PDF File
The Archaeology of ReykjavÝk Harbour [1.77 MB]
An archaeological evaluation was carried out on land to the south of ReykjavÝk´s old eastern harbour, between Geirsgata, LŠkjargata, HafnarstrŠti and Pˇsth˙sstrŠti. A total of thirteen trial trenches were located, targeting possible building remains and harbour features such as piers and the seafront. As may be expected these trenches encountered very extensive modern disturbance, modern dumping, pipes, cables, and the concreted basements of modern buildings. Nonetheless, a number of features of potential archaeological interest came to light, particularly within the southern part of the area. Most of the structures are believed to date to the 19th-20th centuries.

PDF File
TRH06 - 07: The Archaeology of ReykjavÝk Water Front - Interim Report [22.79 MB]
A proposed development area in the center of ReykjavÝk was the subject of archaeological excavations in the winter 2006-2007. The excavation area, which was split up into many different areas, covered about 1405 m2. Beforehand it was clear that some parts of the area were less likely to contain archaeology as they mostly consisted of modern landfill. Therefore areas were treated differently in terms of archaeology.The archaeology excavated consisted mainly of cellars, sea walls and different episodes of landfilling, most dating to the 19th-20th centuries. Old ReykjavÝk maps were of great value to the interpretation and layout of structures but the archaeology provides more resolution to the exsisting historical documents. The material is on the cusp of the legal definition of archaeology - lying between the 100 year rule. This presented several challenges to the archaeologists and the cultural heritage monitors.

PDF File
TRH07: The Archaeology Of Reykjavik Water Front II - Interim Report [4.17 MB]
The development of the water front area in the mid-ninetheenth century was a pivotal point in ReykjavÝk’s, as well as Iceland’s, history. It represented a move towards Modernism that is reflected in the trade and exchange goods, but also archaeological (and therefore material). The sequences of building and construction were related to the reclamation, the merchants and warehouses, and the northward expansion of the water front c. 1915. At the turn of the twentieth century much of the land under excavation belonged to the Thomsen trade emporium. The onset of reclamation and developments from the mid-nineteenth century to the early-twentieth centuries traced in the excavations adds significant new knowledge concerning the detailing in the sequences of building and the material imprint of this developmental phase in ReykjavÝk’s history. Preservation on the site was good in terms of the stone foundations and occasional organic preservation, though discrete surface and floor deposits were sporadic and diffuse. This report details the main findings from the excavations.

Project Location

Latitude: 64.145557°N
Longitude: 21.925654°W