SASS – UMass Boston – Fiske Center – Archaeology

Blog of the Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey

July 26, 2012
by Kathryn Catlin

Excavation at Seyla

Over the past few days, we’ve started to clear off the churchyard wall and some of the other buried features at Seyla.  We’re slowly mapping out the features that correspond to the anomalies we’ve seen in the geophysical results, including the central structure.

Brian, John, and Guðný contemplate some complex stratigraphy.

Viking Age floors in Iceland are thick, compacted, somewhat greasy layers composed of pink peat ash, black charcoal, white wood ash, and other colorful detritus of everyday life.  This morning as I was tracing out the edges of the floor that seems to go with a later phase of the central structure, a small silver pin appeared under my trowel:

Me photographing a small (about 1″ diameter) silver pin or brooch from the center of the Viking Age churchyard at Stóra-Seyla. The pink stuff behind me is the floor!

This afternoon, John and Brian visited Keflavík and Mið-grund, two other farms in Skagafjörður where we will be testing our geophysical instruments early next week.  Tomorrow we’re back at Seyla, then it’s a weekend trip to Mývatn to survey a boat burial and see the sights!

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