SASS – UMass Boston – Fiske Center – Archaeology

Blog of the Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey

Excavation at Stora-Seyla


After a long week of digging, most of  Stóra-Seyla has been cleaned from last year and progress has been made. Earlier in the week, the team worked on cleaning off the excavation area and taking off the remaining top layers of soil. After removing some soil, Eric uncovered a turf structure, relatively small, to the southwest of the church, right outside the cemetery wall. James and I removed soil that contained the 1104 tephra to the west of the cemetery wall, making sure there were no graves outside the cemetery wall. After no graves were found, we moved to the east of the church, inside the circular wall enclosure, where we removed soil from an area where previous excavators who, when the church was moved up the hill, took most of the individuals in the graves out and moved them into the new cemetery.

We have been cleaning off the fill that these previous excavators put back into the holes they dug when they were removing graves and this afternoon after much hard work, we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow that slowly moved across the landscape as the sun and the rain just matched up in a single spot. It was absolutely beautiful!

Clearly we all just had to stop and admire the beautiful sight Mother Nature laid out for us!

Author: Julie Powers

Julie Powers is a Historical Archaeology graduate student at UMass Boston, completing her second year. Julie has worked under Dr. John Steinberg, completing macrobotanical analysis for SCASS, as well as partnering with the Archaeological Society of Delaware and the State of Delaware's Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to research early colonial settlement in southern Delaware. Julie has assisted with numerous projects at the Fiske Center including Gore Place, Hassanamesit Woods, Plymouth, Durant-Kenrick House in Newton, Munroe Tavern, Westport, New Mexico, and Iceland.

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