Book Chapter

Geoarchaeological investigations at Qassiarsuk (Brattahlið), Greenland



Simpson I & Adderley WP (2007) Geoarchaeological investigations at Qassiarsuk (Brattahlið), Greenland. In: Edvardsson R (ed.) Archaeological excavations at Qassiarsuk 2005-2006 Field Report (Data Structure Report). Bolungarvík, Greenland: Náttúrustofa Vestfjarða, NABO, Grønlands Nationalmuseum & Arkiv, pp. 40-54.

First paragraph: Qassiarsuk is commonly considered, despite occasional speculation, to be the location of Brattahlíð, the site of Erík Þorvaldsson, the first Norse settlement of Greenland in AD 982 and at the core of the Eastern settlement. The extensive Norse and Inuit ruins at the site have been subject to several archaeological surveys (Bruun, 1895; Guldager et al., 2002; Roussell, 1941) with excavations focusing on the early Norse church structure and churchyard and the nearby Norse dwelling and byre (Krogh, 1982; Meldgaard, 1982; Nørlund and Stenberger, 1934); these have clearly established that this was an important site throughout much of the Norse period in Greenland. The geology of the area is mixed with biotite rich gneiss underlying the north of the site and sandstones underlying the southern portion (Geological Survey of Greenland, 1973). Site topography is characterised by a gently sloping east facing aspect with a terrace, possibly a raised beach, to the west of the present day intensively improved grassland infield areas used to produce winter feed for sheep.

Publication date30/04/2007
PublisherNáttúrustofa Vestfjarða, NABO, Grønlands Nationalmuseum & Arkiv
Publisher URL…ieldReport07.pdf
Place of publicationBolungarvík, Greenland

People (1)


Professor Ian Simpson

Professor Ian Simpson

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences