Archeologists Dig Out Commonwealth Rubbish Heap Skip to content

Archeologists Dig Out Commonwealth Rubbish Heap

Icelandic and Canadian archeologists are currently working on an excavation at Svalbarð by Þistilfjörður in northeast Iceland. This summer they plan to dig out a rubbish heap at Hjálmarsvík in Svalbarðstunga, which dates at least as far back as the Icelandic Commonwealth in the 10th century and until the 15th century.


A chess piece from a different discovery.

Nine pieces of chess from whale bone have been found in the heap, a dice, a square plate from whale bone with a cruciform and half of a round whale bone plate with the carving of an animal, Fréttablaðið reports.

“Even though the excavation isn’t far along it is clear that this is a very important discovery,” the Icelandic Institute of Archeology said in a statement.

A 12-square-meter hole has been uncovered and numerous animal bones have surfaced. It is hoped that information on the subsistence of inhabitants in northeast Iceland in the Commonwealth judging by their diet and lost and discarded objects can be obtained.

The history of settlement and land use in Svalbarðstunga has been studied in the past four years. This year funding from the Canadian state for archeological research in the area was obtained. The project is organized by the Icelandic Institute of Archeology and the Laval University in Quebec.

Click here to read about other ongoing archeological projects in Iceland.


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