SASS – UMass Boston – Fiske Center – Archaeology

Blog of the Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey

SCASS 2013 season


Welcome to the SCASS 2013 season! We have a new acronym for a new project: the Skagafjörður Archaeological Settlement Survey is joining with the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum (Byggðasafn Skagfirðinga) to form the Skagafjörður Church And Settlement Survey (SCASS).

This year we are here to follow up on last year’s successes at locating Viking Age churches with multi-depth conductivity meters. And starting next week, the crew from UMass Boston will be joining with the museum to continue the church excavation at Stora-Seyla. After one day of work we’ve already completed our first geophysical survey of the church at Hegranesþing – including a fantastic set of air photos with the high-wind kite! We have clearly visible churchyard walls in the geophysical results, so things are looking good.

John Schoenfelder flies our high-wind kite over the survey grid at Hegranesþing, which was the Viking Age assembly site for the northern quarter of Iceland.

John Steinberg and Brian Damiata wade through þufur with our new instrument, the CMD Explorer – a conductivity meter that takes simultaneous readings at three different depths.

This weekend we will be at the NABO conference in Akureyri, where John, Doug, and Brian will be giving a talk and presenting several posters. The last of our crew arrives on Monday and then it’s back to work!

Stay tuned – it looks like this will be another fantastic season.

Author: Kathryn Catlin

Kathryn Catlin is an alumna of UMass Boston's Historical Archaeology MA program and a current PhD student in Anthropology at Northwestern University. Kathryn's research interests include the social and economic dimensions of settlement and colonization in Iceland, medieval England, and the colonial US. She is interested in developing survey techniques, including geophysical survey as well as more traditional archaeological methods, to describe relationships between the development of social inequality and the causes and consequences of environmental change. She has participated in numerous Fiske Center projects, including seasons in Iceland, Greenland, the Caribbean, and across New England.

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