Hearth excavated

Written by Hrönn Konráðsdóttir.

 

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Today the team started excavating this hearth above. It is situated in the Nort-West corner of the excavation and was used sometime in the timeperiod of 9th – 11th Century AD. It appears to be multi complexed, with three distinct areas of burning, possibly for some sort of industry that has three workstages, but this is only a speculation at this point. Samples will be taken from the material in the hearth and further research could possibly give a better idea of what it was used for.

Animal bones

Written by Hrönn Konráðsdóttir.

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A lot of animal bones have been recovered from the excavation at Alþingi. Some of the animal bone collection has been analyzed and among them we have found bones of dogs, whales, seal, great auk, gannet, cod, haddock, sheep, pigs and horses to name a few.

Bones of the extinct Great Auk were found in the oldest layers in the area, which indicates that the settlers were hunting them early on in the vicinity. But after 1226 the inhabitants seem to have more trouble hunting the Great Auk, probably its population was already declining at that point.

Access to the resources of the sea seems to have been very important for the inhabitants of Reykjavík from early on, as quite a lot of bones were of auk, seal, whale and fish in every era from the settlement and up to the 19th C.