Iceland Mag

6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Archaeologists discover the remains of a Viking era settlement in downtown Reykjavík

By Staff

  • Downtown digging The archaeological dig takes place in what was until recently a parking lot in the centre of the capital. Photo from The Settlement Exhibition's Facebook page, see below.

An archaeological dig in a parking lot in Lækjargata, downtown Reykjavík, has revealed the ruins of a Viking-era settlement. The find has surprised archaeologists, since it indicates that the early settlement in Reykjavík stretched further east than previously believed.

The archaeological dig takes place in what was until recently a parking lot between the downtown branch of Islandsbanki-bank and a local pub, Ölstofan. A new four-star hotel is planned for the site.

To date the archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of what is believed to be a dwelling from the earliest centuries of Icelandic settlement. According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, the dating is based on items which have been found at the site, as well as volcanic ash in the walls of the building.

A larger or more dispersed settlement than previously believed
In addition to the ruins archaeologists have uncovered a paved walkway, which is believed to have connected the dwelling to other buildings in the area. The dig will now be expanded beyond its initial scope to reveal more of the building.

The find has surprised archaeologists, since it is the first settlement era find in Lækjargata. To date all Viking era finds in downtown Reykjavík have been concentrated around Suðurgata- and Aðalstræti-streets, where the Settlement Exhibition is currently located. It indicates that the Viking-era settlement was either larger or more dispersed than previously believed.

The dig, which is one of three currently underway in downtown Reykjavík, can be viewed from the sidewalk by pedestrians.



Landnámsminjar finnast við Lækjargötu 10, þar sem áður stóð torfbærinn Lækjarkot. Við fornleifarannsóknir á lóðinni kom...

Posted by Landnámssýningin - Reykjavík 871±2 - The Settlement Exhibition on Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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