The palaeoecology of a high status Icelandic farm

Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir, Egill Erlendsson, Kim Vickers, Tom McGovern, Karen Beatrice Milek, Kevin John Edwards, Ian A. Simpson, Gordon Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Written sources indicate that the farm of Reykholt in Borgarfjörður, Iceland was built on the land ofthe original settlement farm, and that it had acquired the primary status in the valley by the early 12th century. Archaeological evidence suggests that the farm together with a church may have been established as early as ca. 1000 AD, which is when Christianity was adopted in Iceland. The site became one of the country’s major ecclesiastical centres, growing in wealth and stature, not least during the occupancy of the writer and chieftain Snorri Sturluson in the first half of the 13th century. Long-term excavations included a palaeoenvironmental sampling programme aimed at the investigation of the economy and environment of the farm. This paper focuses upon the results of the palaeoecological analysis and places them into the historical context of the farm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Iceland
  • Viking Age
  • Post-medieval
  • Settlement
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Soil micromorphology
  • Floors
  • Middens
  • Archaeoentomology
  • Palynology
  • Archaeobotany
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Geoarchaeology


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