Eve Boyle

Iceland 2016: Turf Building in Skagafjörður – Eve Boyle
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Iceland 2016: Turf Building in Skagafjörður – Eve Boyle

The Settlement Exhibition is extraordinary. To be honest (and this may sound strange coming from an archaeologist) I find many museums tedious. But this exhibition is different. We are presented with the foundations, preserved in situ, of an entire longhouse from the early years of Viking settlement. Clever lighting and imaginative high-tech presentations draw us into discovering the story at our own pace. Then, right next to the longhouse, there is the tantalising fragment of a turf wall, which, because it has been sealed by a layer of tefra dated to 871, must be at least three years older than the traditional date for the settlement of Iceland. In one room, the birth of a nation is both celebrated and challenged. Brilliant!

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