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Expensive errors or rational choices : the pioneer fringe in Late Viking Age Iceland.

Vésteinsson, O. and Church, M. J. and Dugmore, A. J. and McGovern, T. H. and Newton, A. J. (2014) 'Expensive errors or rational choices : the pioneer fringe in Late Viking Age Iceland.', European journal of post-classical archaeologies., 4 . pp. 39-68.


Just as the colonies established on the North Atlantic islands in the Viking Age were peripheral to Europe, so these islands had their own peripheral areas. In Iceland the highland margins have long been a focus of archaeological research and the prevailing view has been that highland settlement failed because people had made unrealistic assessments of carrying capacity. This paper presents a case study of the northern highland valley of Krókdalur and argues that the dating and pattern of settlement in that valley indicates that its settlers were keenly aware of its limitations. It also suggests explanatory frameworks that can make sense of this marginal settlement without resorting to environmental determinism.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Iceland, Viking Age, Highland, Settlement, Abandonment.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:14 October 2014
Date of first online publication:May 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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