Icelandic archeologist Orri Vésteinsson will lead an excavation project in Garðar of the Eastern Settlement in Igaliku fjord in south Greenland in July and August this summer, where the remains of a church and other buildings from the Middle Ages are located. Garðar served as bishopric for the Nordic settlement in Greenland.
From Greenland. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Three other archeologists from the Icelandic Institute of Archeology and seven archeologists from the US and Greenland will also take part in the project, Morgunblaðið reports.
In 2005, well-preserved animal bones and objects that are believed to date back to the Nordic settlement were discovered when wetlands near the remains were drained. This summer’s excavation will be focused on this area.
After the banking collapse in 2008, state funding to archeological expeditions have been cut significantly.
In 2011, ISK 50 million (USD 384,000, EUR 309,000) were allocated to such projects in Iceland but funding has been cut by 30-40 percent this year. Therefore, Icelandic archeologists have increasingly joined projects abroad.
Icelandic archeologists have been involved in excavations in Greenland on earlier occasions, but this will be the first time that an Icelander will lead an archeological project in the country.
The project is a collaboration between the Icelandic Institute of Archeology, University of Iceland, the National Museum in Nuuk and the City University of New York. It is sponsored by NSF, the National Science Foundation in the US.
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