Fortíðarljós – Ljós í fornleifum

Föstudagurinn 13. mars kl. 13.15-14.45.

Í málstofunni er ætlunin að skoða niðurstöður ýmissa nýlegra fornleifarannsókna út frá því hvað þær geta sagt okkur um ljós, ljósgjafa og dýrahald fyrr á öldum á Íslandi og í Færeyjum. Viður og dýrabein úr fornleifarannsóknum liggja til grundvallar erindunum í málstofunni en fyrirlesarar eru ungir fræðimenn sem hafa sérhæft sig í fornleifafræði Norður-Atlantshafs.

Fyrirlesarar og titlar erinda:
  • Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir, dýrabeinafornleifafræðingur við Landbúnaðarháskóla Íslands: Ljós úr lýsi og tólg – Ljósgjafar í dýrabeinafornleifafræði
  • Dawn Elise Mooney, nýdoktor í fornleifafræði við Háskóla Íslands: Heat and Light: Fueling the fires of early Iceland
  • Lara Hogg, doktorsnemi við Cardiff háskóla: Shedding Light on the Faroese Norse Past: Animals and Archaeology

MálstofustjóriBirna Lárusdóttir fornleifafræðingur

Útdrættir:

Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir, dýrabeinafornleifafræðingur við Landbúnaðarháskóla Íslands: Ljós úr lýsi og tólg – Ljósgjafar í dýrabeinafornleifafræði

Allt frá landnámi og þar til steinolíulampar urðu algengir hér á landi á síðari hluta 19. aldar voru dýraafurðir mikilvægir ljósgjafar á Íslandi. Dýr lögðu fólki ekki aðeins til mat og klæði heldur einnig ljós í formi tólgarkerta og lýsis á lampa. Dýrabeinafornleifafræði hefur hingað til ekki verið notuð til að skoða dýraafurðir sem ljósgjafa á Íslandi. Er hægt að sjá merki um vinnslu þessara mikilvægu afurða út frá dýrabeinum yfir höfuð eða henta aðrar aðferðir ef til vill betur?

Dawn Elise Mooney, nýdoktor í fornleifafræði við Háskóla Íslands: Heat and Light: Fueling the fires of early Iceland

Heat and light are two of the most basic needs of human communities, and these needs are rarely more urgent than in the long, cold, dark winter nights here in Iceland. In many societies, these needs are supplied by using wood as fuel. When the Norse settlers arrived in Iceland around AD 874, they came from lands where woodland was stable and plentiful. However, the harsh climate and geographical isolation of Iceland meant that woodlands here contained smaller trees of fewer species, and were very susceptible to damage. The settlers cleared woodland to make way for hayfields, cut timber for fuel, charcoal making and construction, and let newly introduced domestic mammals graze there. These activities contributed significantly to the decline of the woodlands from covering at least 25% of the country before landnám, to around 1% today. However, this decline does not mean that the early Icelanders were ignorant of the decline of the woodlands or the need for conservation. This presentation compares evidence from archaeological wood remains to historical literary and documentary sources, in order to examine how wood was used as fuel in Iceland, and how this diminishing resource was protected.

Lara Hogg, doktorsnemi við Cardiff háskóla: Shedding Light on the Faroese Norse Past: Animals and Archaeology

The study of archaeology in the Faroe Islands can be regarded as a relatively new discipline. In fact the first antiquarian committee took place in 1898 during Ólavsøku. Since then Faroese archaeology has advanced significantly with a number of crucial excavations being undertaken in the last few decades. Excavations of sites such as Toftanes, Argisbrekka and Undir Junkarinsfløtti have been especially useful in advancing understanding of the Norse period.

The work of both Dahl and Arge has been of crucial significance to advancing archaeological knowledge. In particular the recent work by Arge and collaborators has contributed new evidence, proving that the Faroe Islands were colonised before the Vikings, potentially as early as 4th century. However there is still much more to learn, especially in regards to understanding social identities of the Norse in the Faroe Islands and how these may vary across the islands.

This paper will reflect on the developments in Faroese archaeology and how this has changed our understanding and perception of Faroese Norse society. It will consider how new approaches in human animal studies can be applied to the archaeology of the Faroe Islands and how this is beneficial in understanding Faroese Norse society and social identities.

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