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Archaeologist Maps Iceland’s Historic Shipwrecks

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Iceland Shipwreck CeramicsWESTFJORDS, ICELAND—Iceland Review reports that archaeologist Ragnar Edvardsson of the University of Iceland and his colleagues are mapping shipwreck sites surrounding the island nation. “I am of course first and foremost trying to get an idea of the number of large ships which I do through working with written sources,” Edvardsson explained. “Icelanders were of course so good at writing so they often describe the damage to the ships, how many died, and also gave a geographic location.” So far, the researchers have mapped 400 English, Dutch, Danish, Basque, and Icelandic vessels lost between A.D. 1200 and 1920. Most of these shipwrecks have been found off the coast of Eyrarbakki, which is now a fishing village on the island’s south coast. “It’s really interesting that many things point to the capital of Iceland or the main trading town having been Eyrarbakki,” he added. “There is a big ship cemetery of trading ships there, but outside of Reykjavik there isn’t the same number.” Edvardsson thinks there may be another 600 shipwrecks waiting to be found. To read about an Icelandic hideout for Viking Age outlaws, go to "The Blackener's Cave."

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