The first farmhouses?

Previously it was believed that the turf house, Glaumbaer, was located on the original farm mound where all previous domestic structures had been. However a test trench into the midden outside the back door of the turf manor house shows it was not used before 1104. This implies that the farm was built or moved from somewhere else sometime after 1100 AD.

áRemote sensing in a leveled field about 150m east of the old farmhouse indicated that extensive building remains could be found under the surface. Further archaeological excavation in the field unearthed a 30m long longhouse (skßli), and associated midden, dated to the 11th century. This discovery proves that substantial subsurface remains may be found even where nothing is visible on the surface.

The skßli and the old turf famhouse represent two very different forms of dwellings, allowing us to see, in one place, both the first and the final stages of 1000 years of Icelandic turf house development.

Drawing: Douglas Bolender.
The old longhouse and associated midden (rubbish heap).

In the Saga of the Greenlanders, Ůorfinnur Karlsefni and Gu­rÝ­ur Ůorbjarnardˇttir, are said to have purchased the GlaumbŠr farmland when they returned from VÝnland in the first years of the 11th century along with their son, Snorri Ůorfinnson. Snorri is said to have built the first church at GlaumbŠr. The authenticity of the saga has been questioned by scholars. But whatever the truth may be, the skßli in the field would indeed have been the living quarters of these famous and well traveled saga characters.

GlaumbŠr á| á551 Sau­ßrkrˇkur á| áSÝmi 453 6173 á| ábsk@skagafjordur.is