Jesse Byock

Jesse Byock
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Scandinavian Section and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology (IOA)

Ph.D.

About

43
Publications
89,929
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401
Citations
Citations since 2016
8 Research Items
205 Citations
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Introduction
Jesse Byock is professor at the Scandinavian Section and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a professor at the University of Icleand affiliated with the Department of History, and the Program in Viking Studies. Jesse does research in Viking Archaeology, Icelandic Sagas, History, and Old Norse. He is the lead archaeologist and director of the Mosfell Archaeological Project in Iceland´s Mosfell Valley . He is also connected with studies of Old English and Anglo Saxon history, literature, and archaeology. Their current project is 'Mosfell Archaeological Project.' He is author of the new multidisciplinary series of Old Norse textbooks, Viking Language 1: Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas, and Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (43)
Article
Full-text available
Learn and teach Old Norse, Icelandic Sagas, and Runes of the Viking Age. Here is a whole new series of modern and innovative textbooks for mastering the language of the sagas and the runes of the Viking Age. The Viking Language Series speeds learning and explains the grammar. There are exercises, readings and pronunciation MP3 download albums for t...
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Utilising a multi-profile palynological approach and a rapid scanning technique, this paper examines whether or not cereal cultivation is representative of a medieval Icelandic farmstead’s social status; first as a correlate by confirming that cereals were grown in association with the archaeological features characteristic of high status and secon...
Article
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Icelandic settlement (Landnám) period farmsteads offer opportunities to explore the nature and timing of anthropogenic activities and environmental impacts of the first Holocene farming communities. We employ Bayesian statistical modelling of archaeological, paleoenvironmental and documentary datasets to present a framework for improving chronologi...
Article
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Structures in Iceland were traditionally built of turf, earth and, to a lesser extent, stone. As turf was the primary construction material, the contrast in geophysical parameters between building ruins and surrounding soil is expected to be low. To investigate the extent to which the remains of turf buildings can be detected by geophysical measure...
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The Leiruvogur Harbor Research Project (LHRP) is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative effort to locate and excavate the Viking Age harbors in the Leiruvogur Bay of southwestern Iceland. These harbors are among the most-mentioned landing sites in early Icelandic sources, but their location had not been determined prior to this project. Leiruvogur is...
Book
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Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader is a collection of original Old Norse, Icelandic, and Viking Age runic sources. It teaches how to read complete sagas, Norse myths, runes, eddic and skaldic poetry. The Reader includes: 1) Sagas of bloodfeud in Viking Age Iceland accompanied by introductions, notes, maps, and cultural discussions; 2) Extensiv...
Book
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This chapter discusses the research approach and results of the Mosfell Archaeological Project (MAP). Our work in Iceland’s Mosfell Valley (Mosfellsdalur) is documenting human habitation and environmental change over the course of the Old Icelandic Free State from the ninth to the thirteenth century. During the first centuries of Iceland’s settleme...
Chapter
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Egill's Grave? Archaeology and Egils Saga at Kirkjuhóll, Hrísbrú by Jon Erlandson, Jesse Byock, and Davide Zori describes the excavation of a grave shaft beneath the floor under the place of the altar of the conversion era (ca. 1000 AD) church at Kirkjuhóll (Church Knoll) at Hrísbrú in the Mosfell Valley ). One of the goals of the Mosfell Archaeolo...
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The authors show that the principal correlates of feasting in Viking Age Iceland were beef and barley, while feasting itself is here the primary instrument of social action. Documentary references, ethnographic analogies, archaeological excavation and biological analyses are woven together to present an exemplary procedure for the recognition of fe...
Book
Full-text available
Vikings sailed over one-third of the globe and were the first northern Europeans to harness the technology of long-distance seafaring. They spoke Old Norse, the source of many English words and the parent of modern Scandinavian languages: Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Faroese, and Norwegian. Vikings told their myths, legends, and sagas wherever they...
Book
"The Saga of the Volsungs is an Icelandic epic of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle and a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J. R. R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. A trove of traditional lore, it tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and th...
Article
The metalworking, metal import, and use of metal in medieval Iceland is still little understood. When the Scandinavian settlers colonized Iceland in the 9th c. AD, the island was found to contain no useful metal deposits save for bog iron, and the deforestation that followed the settlement resulted in a scarcity of wood. Only in the last decades ha...
Article
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El orden gubernamental en la Islandia temprano medieval. Jesse L. Byock (Universidad de California). Traducción: Santiago Barreiro (Universidad de Buenos Aires) Los investigadores han reconocido ampliamente que la sociedad medieval islandesa difiere de su sociedad noruega contemporánea desde la cual la mayoría de los colonos de Islandia llegaron en...
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THIS is an account of both the history and the recent findings of the Mosfell Archaeological Project. Excavation is part of an interdisciplinary research approach that uses archaeology, history, anthropology, forensics, environmental sciences and saga studies to construct a picture of human habitation, power relationships, religious and mortuary pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent excavations at Hrísbrú in the Mosfell Valley of Iceland have revealed a church and cemetery as well as domestic and ceremonial structures spanning the pagan and early conversion periods in the 10th and 11th Centuries. The skeletal remains of thirteen people buried at Hrísbrú provide new evidence of the health status and living conditions of...
Article
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OR N bi Viking w N IN ICELAND around the year 910, Egill is the son of orwegians who immigrated to Iceland, and his saga is a ography of a warrior poet- who travels throughout the orld of the late tenth century. If Egils saga focuses on one individual and his family, the text is nevertheless wide- ranging and multifaceted, It offers a portrait of h...
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The skeletal remains of 17 people buried in the Eaton Ferry Cemetery in northern North Carolina provide a means of examining health and infectious disease experience in the XIX century South. The cemetery appears to contain the remains of African Americans enslaved on the Eaton family estate from approximately 1830-1850, and thus offers a window in...
Article
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Feuding in Viking-Age Iceland's Great Village. Jesse L. Byock. (Abstract). Medieval Iceland, with its saga literature and law books, has long supplied researchers with examples of conflict and feud. It is now a century since the legal historian James Bryce wrote that medieval Iceland was, “a community whose culture and creative power flourished ind...
Article
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The fornaldarsögur (literally, "sagas of antiquity") have long been relegated to the status of "poor cousins" within the family of Old Icelandic literature. To a large degree this downgrading has occurred because the fornaldarsögur are often fantastic narrations that read very differently from the more sober and worldly íslendingasögur (family saga...
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"The Skull and Bones in Egils Saga: A Viking, a Grave, and Paget's Disease." For over a hundred years the related questions of saga veracity and the oral or written origins of Icelandic narrative texts have been continually debated. The nature of this discussion would change drastically if a new source of information were found. This article explor...
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In S p e c t r u m d e r W i s s e n s c h a f t March 3, 1995 Jesse Byock. "Die Egil-saga und das Paget-Syndrom," Spectrum der Wissenschaft (März, 1995): 90-95. Die Egil-Saga und das Paget-Syndrom Eine isländische Saga erzält von einem Wikinger mit besonders furchterregenden Gesichtszügen und einem massigen Schädel, der sogar nach langem Modern im...

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