Hildur Gestsdóttir

Hildur Gestsdóttir
Institute of Archaeology, Iceland · Department of Archaeology

PhD

About

81
Publications
44,837
Reads
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737
Citations
Citations since 2017
7 Research Items
412 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
Additional affiliations
September 2005 - present
University of Iceland
Position
  • Sessional teacher
Description
  • Bioarchaeology, Archaeological methods, Icelandic archaeology, Viking archaeology
June 1996 - present
Institute of Archaeology, Iceland
Position
  • Project Manager
Education
September 2006 - September 2014
University of Iceland
Field of study
  • Archaeology
September 1996 - June 1998
University of Bradford
Field of study
  • Osteology, palaeopathology and funerary archaeology
September 1991 - June 1994
University of Nottingham
Field of study
  • Archaeology

Publications

Publications (81)
Book
Full-text available
Osteoarthritis has been intensively studied within the field of palaeopathology. For decades there was assumed to be a direct link between activity and the development of osteoarthritis, and this was reflected in the work which was carried out, with often very specific interpretations of occupation and activity on the basis of the diagnosis of oste...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: A previous multi-isotope study of archaeological faunal samples from Skútustaðir, an early Viking age settlement on the southern shores of Lake Mývatn in north-east Iceland, demonstrated that there are clear differences in δ(34) S stable isotope values between animals deriving their dietary protein from terrestrial, freshwater, and mar...
Article
Full-text available
In the summer of 2010 Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland (Minjastofnun Íslands) was contacted by Gísli Halldór Magnússon, who reported that erosion by the Hólmsá River had exposed a row of stones below the old home-field at the farm of Hrífunes in Skaftártunga. Five Pagan Viking burials (kuml) had been excavated or reported in this area between 19...
Article
Full-text available
A review of the mounting archaeological evidence for the colonization of Iceland suggests that the whole country was occupied within a couple of decades towards the end of the 9th century AD. Analyses of strontium in human bones show, however, that immigrants continued to arrive in Iceland throughout the 10th century. Here we discuss this apparent...
Article
Mortuary customs frequently provide the principal archaeological evidence for religious identity. Such customs are often seen as a direct reflection of religion and therefore a change of religion should be expected to result in a change in burial rite. There is growing evidence that the relationship is not so straightforward. In this paper we repor...
Article
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03328-2.
Article
Full-text available
The maritime expansion of Scandinavian populations during the Viking Age (about ad 750–1050) was a far-flung transformation in world history1,2. Here we sequenced the genomes of 442 humans from archaeological sites across Europe and Greenland (to a median depth of about 1×) to understand the global influence of this expansion. We find the Viking pe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Viking maritime expansion from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) marks one of the swiftest and most far-flung cultural transformations in global history. During this time (c. 750 to 1050 CE), the Vikings reached most of western Eurasia, Greenland, and North America, and left a cultural legacy that persists till today. To understand the...
Article
Iceland was colonized by settlers from the North Atlantic rim of Europe near the end of the first millennium AD. This ws a remarkable achievement and the subject of much discussion. Historical documents, the Sagas, suggest that the settlers came from western Norway and all arrived within a brief period after which no further settlement took place....
Article
Full-text available
The methodology for correcting radiocarbon (14C) ages for a marine reservoir effect is now reasonably well defined, while a similar correction for a freshwater reservoir effect has been demonstrated to be feasible under certain circumstances. However, adjusting radiocarbon ages to account for both sources of non-terrestrial carbon has proven challe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Correcting radiocarbon (14C) ages for a marine reservoir effect is now reasonably well defined, while a similar correction for a freshwater reservoir effect has been demonstrated to be feasible under certain circumstances. However, adjusting radiocarbon ages to account for both sources of non-terrestrial carbon has proven challenging. Traditionally...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The 2015 excavation season at Hofstaðir was five weeks, from July 21st through August 15th. This was the fifth season since excavations started again in 2010 after a hiatus, and it marks the end of the excavation of the cemetery. Those who took part were archaeologists Hildur Gestsdóttir (project manager), Stefán Ólafsson, Nikola Trbojevic (4 weeks...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Í ársbyrjun 2014 barst Minjastofnun Íslands bréf, dagsett 17. janúar 2014, frá umhverfis- og skipulagssviði Reykjavíkurborgar. Í því bréfi kom fram að til stæðu töluverðar framkvæmdir í Pósthússtræti. "Á næstu mánuðum er fyrirhugað að endurnýja og fegra Pósthússtræti milli Austurstrætis og Tryggvagötu. Útlit götunnar sunnan Hafnarstrætis verður þá...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Forrannsókn á mannvistarleifum sem víkja munu vegna fyrirhugaðrar uppbyggingar í landi Kataness á Hvalfjarðarströnd fór fram á tímabilinu 20. júní til 22 júlí 2014.1 Var það mat Minjastofnunar Íslands á niðurstöðum úr þeirri rannsókn að frekari uppgröft þyrfti á tveimur minjastöðum á framkvæmdasvæðinu, BO-013:003 og BO-013:037.2 Fór sú vinna fram 7...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Results of the 2014 excavation season at the high Medieval cemetery at Hofstaðir, Mývatnssveit, N. Iceland
Chapter
Full-text available
Bioarchaeological research does not have a long history in Iceland. The field is usually traced back to the involvement of a medical doctor, Jón Steffensen, to the excavation of the medieval cemetery in Skeljastaðir in southern Iceland in 1949. For decades, Steffensen was the only person working in the field, and today, there are only a handful of...
Article
Full-text available
Previous stable isotope studies of modern and archaeological faunal samples from sites around Lake Mývatn, within the Mývatnssveit region of northeast Iceland, revealed that an overlap existed between the δ 15 N ranges of terrestrial herbivores and freshwater fish, while freshwater biota displayed δ 13 C values that were comparable with marine reso...
Article
Previous stable isotope studies of modern and archaeological faunal samples from sites around Lake Mývatn, within the Mývatnssveit region of northeast Iceland, revealed that an overlap existed between the δ 15 N ranges of terrestrial herbivores and freshwater fish, while freshwater biota displayed δ 13 C values that were comparable with marine reso...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Interim report for the 2012 excavation season in the medieval cemetery at Hofstaðir, Mývatnssveit, N. Iceland (in Icelandic)
Article
Full-text available
Historical osteoarchaeology has not been at the forefront of archaeological research in Iceland. Large-scale excavations of historical cemeteries did not start until the mid-twentieth century, and all excavations of historical cemeteries until the early twenty-first century were development led. This fact means that many of the projects carried out...
Article
Human bone collagen from a series of Icelandic human pagan graves was radiocarbon (14C) dated to aid understanding of early settlement (landnám) chronologies in northern Iceland. These individuals potentially consumed marine protein. The 14C age of samples containing marine carbon requires a correction for the marine 14C reservoir effect. The propo...
Chapter
Full-text available
The use of isotopes in tooth enamel for investigating place of origin for archaeological human remains is becoming common practice. Too often, however, only a few samples are analyzed and little work is done to establish baseline information. An argument for large samples is made in the discussion here, pointing to the presence of substantial varia...
Chapter
The human remains from the pagan Viking age burials in Litlu-Núpar, N. Iceland (in Icelandic)
Technical Report
Full-text available
Interim report for the 2010 excavation season at the medieval cemetery at Hofstaðir, Mývatnssveit, N. Iceland (in Icelandic)
Article
Full-text available
Lake Mývatn is an interior highland lake in northern Iceland that forms a unique ecosystem of international scientific importance and is surrounded by a landscape rich in archaeological and paleoenvironmental sites. A significant freshwater reservoir effect (FRE) has been identified in carbon from the lake at some Viking (about AD 870–1000) archaeo...
Article
Full-text available
Lake Mývatn is an interior highland lake in northern Iceland that forms a unique ecosystem of international scientific importance and is surrounded by a landscape rich in archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sites. A significant Freshwater 14C Reservoir Effect (FRE) has been identified in carbon from the lake at some Norse (c.870-1000 AD) archaeo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Um nokkurt skeið hefur ferðamönnum sem leið eiga um Haukadal og nágrenni staðið til boða að skoða eftirlíkingu af bæ Eiríks rauða á Eiríksstöðum þar sem hægt er að skoða líflega kynningu á lifnaðar- og hýbýlaháttum Íslendinga á söguöld. Hefur aðsókn á staðinn verið talsverð síðan Eiríksbær var opnaður almenningi og af þeim sökum vaknað sú umræða hv...
Article
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Technical Report
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Þann 31. ágúst – 7. september 2007 var gerð framhaldsrannsókn á minjum við bæinn Glerá í Kræklingahlíð. Forsagan er sú að 29. september 2004 barst Sigurði Bergsteinssyni minjaverði Norðurlands ábending um að fornleifum hefði verið raskað vegna malarnáms í landi Glerár rétt við bæinn, líklega fornum kirkjugarði. Í framhaldi af því skrifaði Sigurður...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines two potential sources of the 14C offset between human and terrestrial mammal (horse) bones recovered from Norse (c.870-1000 AD) pagan graves in Mývatnssveit, North Iceland. These are the marine and freshwater 14C reservoir effects that may be incorporated into human bones from dietary sources. The size of the marine reservoir 14...
Article
This paper examines 2 potential sources of the radiocarbon offset between human and terrestrial mammal (horse) bones recovered from Norse (~AD 870–1000) pagan graves in Mývatnssveit, north Iceland. These are the marine and freshwater <sup>14</sup>C reservoir effects that may be incorporated into human bones from dietary sources. The size of the mar...
Article
This paper examines 2 potential sources of the radiocarbon offset between human and terrestrial mammal (horse) bones recovered from Norse (~AD 870-1000) pagan graves in Mývatnssveit, north Iceland. These are the marine and freshwater 14C reservoir effects that may be incorporated into human bones from dietary sources. The size of the marine 14C res...
Article
Full-text available
The colonisation of the North Atlantic from the eighth century AD was the earliest expansion of European populations to the west. Norse and Celtic voyagers are recorded as reaching and settling in Iceland, Greenland and easternmost North America between c. AD 750 and 1000, but the date of these events and the homeland of the colonists are subjects...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Interim report for the 2004 excavation season at the medieval cemetery at Hofstaðir, Mývatnssveit, N. Iceland
Technical Report
Full-text available
Dagana 16.-20. maí 2006 grófu fornleifafræðingar frá Fornleifastofnun Íslands tíu könnunarskurði í landi Högnastaða á Flúðum. Könnunin var gerð samkvæmt beiðni frá sveitarstjórn Hrunamannahrepps. Svæðið sem rannsakað var er á fyrirhuguðu byggingarsvæði í Flúðum. Að vestan afmarkast svæðið af Smiðjustíg, á milli lóða 9 og 15a; að norðan af húsum við...
Article
Full-text available
The Althea Library (Listed Grade II) is situated at the northwestern edge of Padstow on southeast sloping ground at between 20m and 25m AOD. The site lies in the garden to the rear (south) of the building , between High Street and Church Street (Fig 1). In 2001 North Cornwall District Council granted planning permission to the owners, Mr and Mrs Be...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological investigations have been ongoing in the cemetery at Hofstadir in Mývatnssveit since the summer of 1999. To date, the remains of two chapels as well as 78 skeletons have been excavated, dated to between the 11th and 15th century. A skeleton was excavated in the summer of 2003 which showed pathological changes indicative of a malignant...
Article
Full-text available
Fifteen burials and a minimum number of 22 individuals, dating from the late 18th to early 20th centuries were excavated during renovation work at the church in Bolungarvík in the summer of 2003. In addition, traces of an earlier, turf structure-probably another church-were identified; given the limited conditions of excavation, little can be said...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological investigations have been ongoing in the cemetery at Hofstadir in Mývatnssveit since the summer of 1999. To date, the remains of two chapels as well as 78 skeletons have been excavated, dated to between the 11th and 15th century. A skeleton was excavated in the summer of 2003 which showed pathological changes indicative of a malignant...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report of the 2003 excavation of the early Medieval cemetery at Hofstaðir, Mývatnssveit, Northern Iceland
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the seventh consecutive season of archaeological excavations at Hofstaðir in Mývatnssveit, further expansion to the areas under investigation was made, specifically the completed stripping of the area to the east and north of the longhouse so that in effect, the whole perimeter around the longhouse has now been exposed. The longhouse interior (A...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Now in their sixth consecutive season, archaeologica1 excavations at Hofstaðir in Mývatnssveit continued to expand the areas under investigation. Starting with small trenches in Areas G and D at the southern end of the skáli in 1995, open area excavation has continued to grow in subsequent seasons, with the addition of new areas to the west, east a...
Article
Full-text available
On July 5th 1962 construction workers unearthed a human skeleton in Skarðsvík north of Öndverðarnesskagi in Snæfellsnes. Two days later Þorkell Grímson, then archaeologist at the National Museum of Iceland, went to investigate the find, which turned out to be a single human burial with elaborate grave goods (including a sword, a spearhead, a shield...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Archaeological Investigations at Hofstaðir in Mývatnssveit ran into their fifth consecutive year this season, excluding the original survey in 1992. Last year, summaries of all previous work up to 1997 were published in the first issue of Archaeologia Islandica, a new journal specially dedicated to archaeological studies of Icelandic material (see...