Geostatistical approach to a spatial, multi-element dataset from an archaeological site in Vatnsfjörður, Iceland

Lukasz Mikolajczyk, Karen Milek

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This paper presents the results of geochemical mapping conducted in the coastal zone of a multi-period archaeological (farm) site in Vatnsfjörður, northwest Iceland. The main aim of the study was to test the efficiency of
geospatial analysis (based upon a principal component data fusion technique) in dealing with amulti-elemental dataset. The methodwas applied in order to distinguish between different zones of human activity across the site. The results enabled the site to be divided into discrete zones. In combination with previous studies, the new information enabled speculation about each zone's functional character, chronology and development history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-585
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Early online date1 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

The research was funded through a scholarship awarded by the University of Aberdeen's FAR North programme, and by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. We are very grateful to Fornleifastofnun Islands and the crew of the 2013 field school at Vatnsfjorður for their support with fieldwork, especially Oskar Gísli Sveinbjarnarson, Dawn Elise Mooney and Garðar Guðmundsson. We would also like to express our gratitude to James Parker, Kayleihg Hamilton and OLYMPUS Corporation for providing the ‘Olympus-Innov-X Delta Premium XRF’ scanner. We are indebted to Edward Schoffield for proof-reading and editing the manuscript. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.


  • Iceland
  • Geochemistry
  • Geo-spatial analysis
  • Activity zone
  • Data fusion
  • Coastal archaeology
  • Early-modern
  • principal components analysis
  • Multi-element mapping


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