Monday, June 24, 2013

Learning about early settlers in Eyjafjordur

For more than thirty years, the U.S. National Science Foundation has been funding several science research projects in Iceland covering a broad range of subjects. I had the pleasure of visiting one of those projects and to learn about an excavation site in Hörgárdalur where American, Icelandic, and other international scientists are digging a site that could date as far back as the ninth century. During a very informative conversation with Ramona Harris, an anthropologist from the City University of New York, we learned that the site could very well be early medieval or even Viking Age. Ramona showed us some of the artifacts (bone carvings and beads) found in the site. It is hard not to be impressed with the scientific partnerships between American institutions such as the National Science Foundation and Icelandic institutions such as the Institute of Archaeology (Fornleifastofnun Íslands) and the benefits that accrue to science and our understanding of the interaction between early settlers and their environment.