Potential Viking Age Site Washed Away by Flood in Southern Iceland

The volcano Hekla as depicted in a 16th century illustration from Olaus Magnus's Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus. From Wikimedia Commons.

An unexcavated archaeological site, potentially from the Viking Age, was washed away by a glacial lake outburst flood in South Iceland earlier this autumn. Iceland Magazine reports:

Uggi Ævarsson, the Cultural Heritage Manager of South Iceland[,] tells RÚV that the ruins had neither been charted nor catalogued, let alone explored by archaeologists.

This is all the more serious because the ruins could have dated back to the Viking Age, he tells RÚV: “This is a great loss. Now we are missing another piece of the puzzle which is the settlement history of Skaftártunga region. These floods come regularly here, and then the nearby volcano Hekla also has her regular eruptions, all of which makes the settlement history of this region extremely interesting.”

Glacial lake outburst floods are highly destructive. Outside of priceless loss to the historic record that the loss of such a site may cause, this particular flood caused significant damage to the region, washing away a road and causing damage to several farms in the region, resulting in losses of "ISK Hundreds of Millions" as reported by Iceland Review Online.

"Heathenry in Iceland, America and Germany: The mainstream and the fringe" via Icelandic Magazine

An illustration of a historical Hammer of Thor, worn as a pendant by North Germanic pagans during the Viking Age. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Iceland Magazine has published an article on Germanic Neopaganism (also widely known as Heathenry): "Heathenry in Iceland, America and Germany: The mainstream and the fringe". Focused on Germanic Neopaganism in Iceland, Germany, and North America, the brief article primarily examines responses to the Ásatrúarfélagið's decision to conduct gay marriage ceremonies (which we previously reported on here). The article is authored by Karl E. H. Seigfried, who runs "The Norse Mythology Blog", a blog focused on Germanic paganism and topics such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner.