The Archaeological Heritage Agency of Iceland has issued a permit for 25 projects this year. Some of these projects have already been undertaken, others are in progress while some haven’t begun yet.
From the West Fjords, where old whaling stations are being excavated. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
Ragmar Edvardsson, an archeologist at the West Fjords Nature Center, supervises a large archeological excavation project at Strákatangi in the West Fjords where whaling station remains are being excavated and examined.
Edvardsson said the project is going well and that many interesting and unexpected objects have been unearthed. However, archeologists are in constant competition with the forces of nature, he said.
“Many archeological remains are engulfed by the ocean, especially here in west Iceland,” he said. “Land erosion has increased significantly and nature is efficiently breaking up the country’s coastline. It means that many remains are lost at sea and it is nearly impossible to retrieve them.”
Edvardsson said especially the old whaling stations in the West Fjords are at risk at being washed into the ocean. However, a strategy for saving the archeological remains there is being worked on.