The archaeological site of a medieval convent at Skriðuklaustur in Fljótsdalur, East Iceland, formally opened to the public on Saturday. The event marks the end of one of the most extensive excavation projects in Iceland in recent times; it has lasted a decade.
Skriðuklaustur. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
Minister of Education Katrín Jakobsdóttir opened the site and a number of people were present. The ceremony was the final event of the local festival Ormsteiti, ruv.is reports.
Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir led a sermon at the occasion. “A very notable operation took place here […]. The monks not only studied the Bible but were also responsible for social services, took care of the poor and others in need,” she remarked.
This summer facilities to display the convent were established. It also served as a hospital. “The buildings were much larger and more complex than we had expected,” said archaeologist Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, who led the excavation.
“It is also the northernmost convent that has been unearthed in Europe and the only one in Iceland so it is an important milestone for us archaeologists,” Steinunn concluded.
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