Archaeological Dig by Prime Minister’s Office

Prime Minister's Office Archaeological excavation

Archaeologists are currently excavating one of the busiest locations in downtown Reykjavík: the Prime Minister’s Office, RÚV reports. Digging in the lot behind the office began around two weeks ago. Clay fragments are among the artefacts that have already been unearthed at the location, and experts say relics from the earliest period of settlement are likely to be found at the site.

Excavating before building

A blue-painted plywood wall has been erected on Bankastræti alongside the Prime Minister’s Office with information on the excavations as well as plexiglass windows to allow passers-by to peek in on archaeologists at work. The information panels also show pictures of the new building which has been drawn up for the site. Once archaeological remains are removed, a new structure will be raised on the lot that will house part of the activities of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We now expect to find traces of maybe 25 or 30 buildings because, according to sources, there were numerous houses here in the 18th and 19th centuries,” explains Archaeologist Vala Garðarsdóttir. “Remains of older structures have also been found here under the Prime Minister’s Office when it was renovated in 1998. Remains of a building that had a tephra layer [evidence of a volcanic eruption] dating back to 1226 were also found.”

Farms and jailhouses

Construction on the Prime Minister’s Office began in 1765, and it was originally built to be a jailhouse. There are plenty of historical sources that describe the lot and building inspection records dating back to 1854. “There is naturally such a rich history which tells us so much,” Vala stated. “We are going to try to record it as well, both with the sources and the artefacts.”

The northernmost section of the lot belonged to Arnarhóll farmstead, and its possible that remains of larger farm buildings could be discovered on the lot. The dirt has already revealed some interesting artefacts. “A lot of broken pottery, glass, medicine vials, wood, and a lot of hewn stone that people used for building foundations and more,” Vala stated.

The first phase of the excavation focuses on the area by Bankastræti street, and wwill end in January. The next phase, closer to Hverfisgata street, will end by next fall.

WOW air Relaunch Delayed Until December

Ballarin introduces WOW asset purchase.

The company which took over WOW air’s bankruptcy has delayed their first flight until December, FlightGlobal reports. The airline was originally scheduled to begin operations this month. The delay was announced yesterday in a statement from Michele Ballarin, chair of USAerospace Associates, which acquired WOW’s assets following the airline’s bankruptcy in March.

Read More: WOW air goes bankrupt

“Wow Air intends to be fully operational in December with ticket sales hitting the market in November,” the statement to FlightGlobal reads. “Significant market adjustments have taken place since the announcement of the re-launch of WOW Air. This contraction of carriers has provided an increase in aircraft inventory previously not available in the late summer. Wow Air will take this opportunity to acquire and reconfigure our launch aircraft in the best interests of our customers and shareholders.”

The statement does not disclose any information about the airline’s schedules, routes, or destinations. USAerospace did state upon acquiring WOW’s assets that it planned to restart operations between Washington Dulles International Airport and Keflavík.

Imagine Peace Tower Illuminated Tonight

Imagine Peace Tower

Yoko Ono invites locals and visitors in Reykjavík to sail to Viðey island tonight for the 13th annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower. Rides on the Viðey island ferry will be free of charge from 5.30pm as well as buses from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki pier starting at 5.15pm. The tower will be illuminated at 8.00pm, but the evening has a full program including live music and guided tours starting at 5.45pm.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination.

The full program for the evening can be seen on the City of Reykjavik website (scroll down for English).