Whale Bone as Fuel at an Inland Farm in Early Modern Iceland

George Hambrecht and Kevin S. Gibbons


Excavation at Gröf, an early modern inland farm in Iceland’s southern Skaftártunga region, reveals a faunal assemblage dominated by fragmented and burned whale bone. To date, no other inland assemblages exhibiting these characteristics have been reported in Iceland. The presence of whale bone at an inland farm site in Iceland is itself peculiar, but the fact that in it is heavily fragmented and burned is even more unusual. It is hypothesized that whale bone was being used as a source of fuel and that this may indicate this farm had increased access to coastal resources. The presence of these burnt whale bones is examined in the context of the environmental, climatic and political/economic conditions of early modern Iceland.

View Full Text

This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

Purchase access

You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.