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Gudrún Sveinbjarnardóttir

  • BA (Hons), MPhil, PhD, FSA
  • Honorary Lecturer, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • Project Manager Reykholt excavations, Snorrastofa and National Museum of Iceland

Research Interests

  • Medieval period in Northern and Western Europe
  • Settlement patterns and material culture
  • Viking settlement in the North Atlantic and its human and ecological consequences

Current Projects and Research

  • Completion of books on the excavations at the medieval chieftain‘s site of Reykholt
  • Reykholt in Borgarfjörður. An interdisciplinary research project in collaboration with the National Museum of Iceland, the University of Iceland and Snorrastofa, the centre for medieval studies at Reykholt
  • The shielings of Reykholt in Borgarfjörður. An interdisciplinary research project in collaboration with the University of Iceland, Snorrastofa and a number of scholars in Norway, Sweden and Great Britain

Career Summary

  • Leverhulme Research Fellow, Institute of Archaeology, UCL (2002-7)
  • Temporary lecturer, Institute of Archaeology, UCL (2001)
  • Freelance archaeologist, researcher and teacher (1994-2000)
  • Research fellow, National Museum of Iceland (1991-3)
  • Freelance archaeologist, researcher and teacher (1983-1990)
  • Leverhulme Research Fellow, University of Birmingham (1979-82)
  • Research assistant, British Museum (1979)

Educational Background

  • 1987: PhD, University of Birmingham
  • 1975: MPhil in Medieval Archaeology, University College London
  • 1972: BA (Hons) in History and German, University of Iceland

Books

  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (forthcoming). Reykholt: Archaeological Investigations at a High Status Farm in Western Iceland. National Museum of Iceland & Snorrastofa.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (1996). Leirker á Íslandi /Pottery found in excavations in Iceland. Rit Hins íslenska fornleifafélags og Þjóðminjasafns Íslands 3. Háskólaútgáfan, 184pp
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (1992). Farm abandonment in medieval and post-medieval Iceland:an interdisciplinary study. Oxbow Monographs in Archaeology, No. 17, 192pp.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (1986). Rannsókn á Kópavogsþingstað (Investigations at the assembly site at Kópavogur, Iceland). Kópavogskaupstaður. 142pp.

Articles

  • Sveinbjarnardóttir G. (in press). Two Viking Age pendants from Iceland. In Webster, L. and Reynolds, A. (eds.), The Northern World in the Early Middle Ages. Studies in Honour of James Graham-Campbell. Brill Press. Leiden.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (in press). The Reykholt churches: the archaeological evidence in a North Atlantic context. In Bergur Þorgeirsson (ed), Mellan Text och Materiell Kultur. Snorrastofa, Reykholt.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G., Dahle, K., Erlendsson, E., Gísladóttir, G., Vickers, K. (2011). The shielings of Reykholt: some preliminary results. In Svavar Sigmundsson (ed.), Viking Settlements and Viking Society. Papers from the Proceedings of the Sixteenth Viking Congress, Iceland, 17-23 August 2009, 164-177. Reykjavík: Háskólaútgáfan - Hið íslenzka fornleifafélag.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2010). The making of a centre: the case of Reykholt, Iceland. In Sheehan, J. and Ó Corráin, D. (eds.), The Viking Age: Ireland and the West. Proceedings of the XVth Viking Congress, Cork, 2005, 483-493. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2009). Kirkjur Reykholts – Byggingasaga (The Reykholt churches – architectural history). In G. Ólafsson and S.Kristjánsdóttir (eds.),  Endurfundir. Forleifarannsóknir styrktar af Kristnihátíðarsjóði 2001-2005  (pp. 58-69). Rit Þjóðminjasafns Íslands 19. Reykjavík: Þjóðminjasafn Íslands.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2009). Fornleifafræði og sagnfræði (Archaeology and history). In G. Jónsson, H.S. Kjartansson and V. Ólason (eds.)  Heimtur. Ritgerðir til heiðurs Gunnari Karlssyni sjötugum, 176-187. Mál og menning,
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2008). Shielings in Iceland revisited: a new project. Símunarbók. Heiðursrit til Símun V. Arge á 60 ára degnum. Helgi Michelsen og Caroline Paulsen (ritstj.)   Fróðskapur, Faroe University Press 2008, 222-231. ISBN: 978-99918-65-18-8. EAn: 9789991865188.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G., Simpson, I.A., Thomson, A. (2008). Land in Landscapes Circum Landnám: An Integrated Study of Settlements in Reykholtsdalur, Iceland. Journal of the North Atlantic, Vol. 1.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G., Erlendsson, E., Vickers, K., McGovern, T.H., Milek, K.B., Edwards, K.J., Simpson, I.A., Cook, G. (2007). The Palaeoecology of a high status Icelandic farm.  Environmental Archaeology Vol. 12, no. 2, 197-216.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2006). Reykholt: a centre of power: the archaeological evidence. In Mundal E. (ed). Reykholt som makt- og lærdomssenter I den islandske og nordiske kontekst. Reykholt. Snorrastofa, Menningar- og miðaldasetur, 25-42.
  • Dugmore, A.J., Mairs, K-A., Church, M.J., Newton, A., Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2006). An over-optimistic pioneer fringe? Environmental perspectives on medieval settlement abandonment in Þórsmörk, south Iceland. Dynamics of Northern Societies. Proceedings of the SILA/NABO conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10 - 14, 2004. Arneborg,J., Grönnov,B. (ed.) Publications from the National Museum, Studies in archaeology & history series. Copenhagen: National Museum of Denmark, 10, 333-344
  • Mairs, K-A., Dugmore, A.J., Church, M.J. Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2006). Degrees of success: evaluating the environmental impacts of successful long term settlement in south Iceland. Dynamics of Northern Societies. Proceedings of the SILA/NABO conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10 - 14, 2004, Arneborg,J., Grönnov,B. (ed.) Publications from the National Museum, Studies in archaeology & history series. Copenhagen:National Museum of Denmark, 10, 363-371
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G., Church, M.J., Mairs, K-A., Dugmore, A.J. (2006). Settlement history, land boundaries and landscape change, Eyjafjallahreppur, Iceland. Dynamics of Northern Societies. Proceedings of the SILA/NABO conference on Arctic and North Atlantic Archaeology, Copenhagen, May 10 - 14, 2004, Arneborg,J., Grönnov,B. (ed.) Publications from the National Museum, Studies in archaeology & history series. Copenhagen:National Museum of Denmark, 10, 321-331
  • Arge, S.V., Sveinbjarnardóttir, G., Edwards, K.J. and Buckland, P. (2005). Viking and medieval settlement in the Faroes: people, place and environment. Human Ecology, 597-620.
  • Dugmore, A.J., Church, M.J., Buckland, P.C., Edwards, K.J., Lawson, I, McGovern, T.H., Panagiotakopulu, E., Simpson, I.A., Sveinbjarnadóttir, G. (2005). The Norse landnám on the North Atlantic islands: an environmental impact assessment. Polar record 41(216), 21-37. ISSN: 0032 2474
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2005). The use of geothermal resources at Reykholt in Borgarfjörður in the medieval period: some preliminary results. In Mortensen, A. and Arge, S.V. (eds.): Viking and Norse North Atlantic. Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Fourteenth Viking Congress, Tórshavn, 19-30 July 2001. Annales Societatis Scientiarum Færoensis. Supplementum XLIV. Tórshavn
  • Dugmore, A.J., Church, M.J., Buckland, P.C., Edwards, K.J., Lawson, I, McGovern, T.H., Panagiotakopulu, E., Simpson, I.A. and Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2005). The Norse landnám on the North Atlantic islands: an environmental impact assessment. Polar record 41 (216): 21-37.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2004). Interdisciplinary research at Reykholt in Borgarfjörður. In Guðmundsson, G. (ed). Current issues in Nordic Archaeology. Proceedings of the 21st Conference of Nordic Archaeologists, 6. - 9. September 2001, Akureyri, Iceland. Society of Icelandic Archaeologists. Reykjavík: 93-97.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2004). The use of geothermal energy at a chieftain’s farm in medieval Iceland. Archaeology International 2003/2004, 22-26.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. (2004). Landnám og elsta byggð (Settlement and earliest habitation in Iceland). In Björnsson, Á. and Róbertsdóttir, H. (eds) Hlutavelta tímans. Menningararfur á Þjóðminjasafni. National Museum of Iceland, 38-47.
  • Edwards, K.J., Buckland, P.C., Dugmore, A.J., McGovern, T.H., Simpson, I.A. and Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir (2004). Landscapes Circum-Landnám: Viking settlement in the North Atlantic and its human and ecological consequences - a major new research programme. In Housley, R. and Coles, G. (eds), Atlantic connections and adaptations: economies, environments and subsistence in the North Atlantic. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Sveinbjarnardóttir, G. & Vésteinsson, O. (2003). Reykholtskirkja. Fornleifarannsókn 2002. Þjóðminjasafn Ísland. Rannsóknarskýrslur 2003,4 Þjóðminjasafn Íslands og Fornleifastofnun Íslands. (Excavation of the church at Reykholt. National Museum of Iceland reports 2003/4).
  • Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir (2002). The question of papar in Iceland. In Crawford, B.E. (ed) The Papar in the North Atlantic: Environment and History. Proceedings of a day conference held on 24 February 2001. University of St Andrews, 97-106.
  • Buckland, P.C., Edwards, K.J., Blackford, J.J., Dugmore, A.J., Sadler, J.P. & Guðrún Sveinbjarnardóttir (1995). A question of Landnám: Pollen, charcoal and insect studies on Papey, eastern Iceland. In (eds) Butlin, R.A. & Roberts, N. Ecological Relations in Historical Times: Human Impact and Adaptation (The Institute of British Geographers special publications series: 32), 245-264.

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