Book Chapter

The Palaeoenvironment of Myvatnssveit During the Viking Age and Early Medieval Period



Lawson I, Milek K, Adderley WP, Casely AF, Church MJ, Duarte L, Dugmore AJ, Edwards KJ, Gathorne-Hardy FJ, Gudmundsson G, Morrison S, Newton A & Simpson I (2009) The Palaeoenvironment of Myvatnssveit During the Viking Age and Early Medieval Period. In: Lucas G (ed.) Hofstadir - Excavations of a Viking Age Feasting Hall in North-Eastern Iceland. Institute of Archaeology Monograph Series, 1, 1. Iceland: Institute of Archaeology, Iceland, pp. 26-54.

Until recently very little was known about the history of environmental change in Mývatnssveit, although many other parts of Iceland have been investigated in some detail since the pioneering work of Sigurður Þórarinsson in the 1940s (e.g. Þórarinsson 1944) and Þorleifur Einarsson in the 1950s (e.g. Einarsson 1957,1963). Notable multi-disciplinary research at the landscape scale, associated with archaeological excavation, has taken place and is still continuing in Reykholtsdalur in western Iceland (Buckland et al. 1992; Smith 1995; Dixon 1997) and in Eyjafjallahreppur in southern Iceland (e.g. Buckland et al. 1991; Dugmore and Buckland 1991; Mairs et al. 2006). A similar body of palaeoenvironmental evidence is now beginning to accumulate both from the site of Hofstaðir itself and from the surrounding landscape,capable of illuminating the nature of the Viking Age and early medieval site and placing it within a context of a complex and dynamic landscape.

Iceland; Environment; Soils; Climate; Iceland; Soil micromorphology; Environmental geochemistry

Title of seriesInstitute of Archaeology Monograph Series, 1
Number in series1
Publication date31/12/2009
PublisherInstitute of Archaeology, Iceland
Publisher URL…eries/hofstadir/
Place of publicationIceland

People (1)


Professor Ian Simpson

Professor Ian Simpson

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences