Burnt Viking longhouse unearthed in Reykjavík

Viking-era longhouse has been discovered by archaeologists at a site by the Lækjargata street in downtown Reykjavík, Iceland. Archaeological evidence suggests that the building burned to the ground.

Excavations at the site (by Andri Maríno)

Archaeologists lead by Lisabet Guðmundsdóttir discovered discolouring of the turf in the walls, as well as charred pieces of wood which might either have been part of benches or the ceiling of the longhouse. Moreover, a burnt down support beam has been found. At present it is unknown whether the structure burned down while it was occupied or after it had been abandoned. However, the longhouse was not rebuilt after it burned down. Previous excavations in downtown Reykjavík has revealed the remains of Viking Age longhouses which were rebuilt several times over at the same site. The longhouse by Lækjargata street, however, appears not to have been rebuilt in such a manner. The researchers have also uncovered drainage ditches which ran from the longhouse to the river which presently connects the downtown lake and the ocean. Other finds include a fire-pit used for cooking, which was located between the longhouse and the river.

(after Andri Maríno & Iceland Magazine)

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