Category Archives: Iceland NET 2016

Basics of Turf
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Basics of Turf

Firstly, thank you to all the people who made this trip to Iceland – funded by Erasmus+ – possible. Thank you to ARCH Network and Libby Urquhart for organising the trip from Scotland and to Byggðasafn Skagfirðinga and everyone in Iceland for hosting us and making us feel welcome. The focus of the week was […]

NET – Iceland 2016
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NET – Iceland 2016

  NET – Managing our Natural and Cultural Assets     ‘Can turf be revived as a contemporary building material?’   DISSEMINATION REPORT Iceland June 2016 Iceland Date: 18.07.2016 SUMMARY This report summarises the findings of a 7-day visit to Iceland during June 2016. The trip was funded by Erasmus+ and organised by Libby Urquhart […]

Traditional Turf Building in Iceland 2016
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Traditional Turf Building in Iceland 2016

Ultimately I think one of the biggest things I have taken from this trip is the chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the heritage sector with like minded individuals. It amazed me how many similarities there were between Scotland and Iceland. Since learning more about traditional building methods I am keen to look into ways to incorporate these crafts into the education programme and our new outdoor learning workshops. I think there is an opportunity to engage all age groups with traditional skills. It may not be quite as elaborate of a turf house in a beautiful farm in northern Iceland but I think it is worth a try!

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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