“We can see at least one smithy, if not two, but also coal pits and iron melt ovens,” said Vala Garðarsdóttir, who leads the excavation project in the Alþingi construction site on the corner of Tjarnargata and Kirkjustræti in central Reykjavík.
Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
The site has been earmarked for enlargement of the parliamentary building but first archeologists were given time to excavate remains that might be found there.
Excavation has taken place there in summers since 2008. This year the project kicked off on June 1 and will continue through mid-September, Fréttablaðið reports.
“It appears that there were buildings there reserved for other tasks, such as a workshop for making objects from wood and stones. There were probably also facilities for wool processing and a brewery where people both brewed and baked,” Vala added.
Vala finds the archeological discovery to be noteworthy. “We have found an extensive area that doesn’t just belong to one household or the farmstead of one family. It is an indicator for a larger community from the Viking Era than what we are used to finding in Iceland,” she explained.
Click here to read about other archeological projects from the same time period.