The team arrived on Siglunes Monday evening and got settled into the 100 year old house called Þormóðshús after a nice trip from Reykjavik to Akureyri by car and from Siglufjörður to Siglunes by boat.
Yesterday morning, the crew inspected the mounds that were mapped and planned in 2011 and were a bit shocked to find that the preservation of many of the cleaned profiles had further deteriorated and many structural elements, especially large stones, had fallen out of the sections.
This experience made us realize the unique chance we had to preserve some of the information held by the archaeological remains through documenting all the ruins last year and through excavating some of the most threatened ones this season.
The pictures below are both from Mound C; the one on the left from the 2011 season with a lot of the stones in the exposed section alligned in such a way that one interpretation is that this could have once been a platform for drying fish. It could have also been part of the structure‘s back wall instead, again indicating how little of some of these ruins remains. The picture on the right is from the same structure, taken one year later. Much of the structure has been further eroded by the sea, as indicated by the stones that have fallen out of the section and the more or less collapsed profile.
Howell and Birna have started cleaning the debris from Mound D at the very western edge of the peninsula; this ruin has a large whale bone as one of its structural components. The picture shows Birna and Sirry inspecting how much this structure was damaged by the sea.
To reach this structure‘s occupational layers, a lot of beach cobbles had to be moved away!
Sirrý and I have cleaned and sectioned Mound F and started excavating it. We have removed some modern collapse and will deal with occupation layers in the next few days. This badly eroded structure may still hold some information on human activity in the Middle Ages . The picture below shows the structure before excavation, with the two little mounds indicating walls made from turves and stones.
So far, the weather has been very windy but warm.
The Siglunes team.
We are archaeologists at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Human Ecodynamics Research Center (HERC). Follow us as we head into the field to work at four sites in the North Atlantic. Living and working at each site presents its own challenges and we hope to offer stories of how archaeology gets done rather than just present the results of our research. click to read more
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