Archeologists Search for Iron Workshop in North Iceland Skip to content

Archeologists Search for Iron Workshop in North Iceland

A team of archeologists are hoping to unearth an iron workshop at the old turf farm Glaumbaer in Skagafjördur, northeast Iceland, when the farm’s oldest lodge is investigated this summer.

An ironworker at the medieval market at Gásir in 2007. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

If such a find exists, it may explain the farm’s name. “Glaumur” is usually translated as “noisy merriment,” so most people assume that the name refers to a “happy” farm.

However, as the director of the Skagafjördur District Museum at Glaumbaer, Sigrídur Sigurdardóttir, told Morgunbladid, “It’s obvious that the blaring sound from the workshop is what inspired the name.”

Indications have been found that iron was worked at Glaumbaer and that there were workshops at neighboring farms. The soil there is rich in iron (mýrarraudi). Furthermore, reddish ash, which specialists believe resulted from iron production, has been discovered on the site.

Scientists from the University of Massachusetts in Boston have worked on archeological research in Skagafjördur since 2001. The primary purpose of the research is to develop an earth scope technology to examine archeological remains underground.

The scientists have already studied a number of farms in the region. “We believe that the farm at Seyla is from the Viking era. The ash layer from 1104 is lying on top of the remains so the farm could date back to the settlement,” said Douglas Bolender, one of the managers of the project.

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