Skeletons at Hotel Construction Site Skip to content

Skeletons at Hotel Construction Site

By Iceland Review

Archeologists have unearthed a number of human skeletons located at a site in downtown Reykjavík where a hotel will be constructed, RÚV reports. The bones were discovered under a parking lot by the Landsímahús building in Kirkjustræti, by Austurvöllur square.

The site used to be a cemetery called Víkurkirkjugarður and its excavation began on February 1. It’s highly unusual for an archeological excavation to take place at this time of year and wouldn’t have been possible but for the fact that the area is covered with a roof and heated.

The cemetery was established at the end of the eleventh century and used until 1838, when it ran out of room. Archeologist Vala Garðarsdóttir, who oversees the excavation, remarked, “In fact, there are between eight and nine hundred years of generations of people from Reykjavík resting here in this area.”

“The graves are such that they’ve been cut apart or one put on top of another, and then there are ones where there are many bodies in on grave.” That, she said, was done to make room for more. One coffin was discovered with the skeletons of six or seven children.

None of the graves are marked. The bones will be placed in boxes, sorted and analyzed. Excavation will be completed by June 1.

Will hotel guest be able to rest in peace?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!