Monday, July 23, 2007

yay we are back from our trip! We had an amazing time and saw more things than I thought possible in one weekend. I put all the pictures up on flickr so I think I will just point you in that direction!
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Friday, July 20, 2007

So, believe it or not, I do actually do some work while I'm here. Per request, I am posting a couple of shots to prove this. The past couple of days I have been doing a lot of coring, which is basically when you take a meter long pole and stick it in the ground and then pull it up. What comes up is a sequence of deposits and strata which gives you a good idea of what is happening in that area. It is good to use when you want to see what is in the ground, but don't want to dig out a lot of pits in the process.
Yesterday we went on an interesting, if not somewhat random, tour of a nearby fish factory. Tomorrow morning we are going on an overnight trip to the Southeast part of the country to see some famous things like the Althing (a huge rift in the earth where the Vikings used to meet to settle disputes and make marriages etc.), the Geyser, and a glacier.

The site at Medalheimur

A core- in this one you can see a layers of different deposits including turf and midden.

Here is a picture of me screening for artifacts at the site Stora-Seyla. Taken by Jess.

And here is some serious troweling, also courtesy of Jess!

As always, you can see ALL my amazing pictures on my flickr page, as linked to on the right!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last night we went to a natural hot springs called Grettir's Pool, named for an 11the century Viking who went there. It was really beautiful so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today was great! We started out by going to a cafe that is kind of supposed to be traditional and the waitresses wear old fashioned Icelandic clothes. Now, my capital letters can't even began to convey the message that the food was SO GOOD. We had all the traditional Icelandic sweets (I can't spell their names) like cream pancakes, sherry cake, sugar pancakes, twisted donuts, and the most amazing hot chocolate you could possibly imagine. Oh man. Yeah, we are definitely going to be going back there. Then after that we went horse back riding again! This time I went to a different place with Kate and Pete from the project. It was great. I hope I can go at least once more before we leave. Here are a couple of pictures:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's been a couple of days so lets see whats new. We worked really hard today clearing turf off a site we plan to dig soon. Lots of shoveling and I even got to use a scyth which was fun. Luckily the weather was very sunny so it wasn't too bad. Today at dinner they served a kind of lamb which I can't spell in Icelandic, but basically its a leg of lamb smoked in sheep dung. It smelled pretty pungent. I eat sooo well here, lots of good food. Lots of sweets too! I am planning to go back horseback riding again on Sunday if the weather isn't too bad (well, even if it is). I think if I could do that every day that would be heaven. We might try to go to some nearby town or something too this weekend if we don't have to work on Saturday. The town we are in now is pretty small and I think I'm ready to see a few new things. hmmmm. I can't think of too many new things right now. A couple of cool things that are different here:
All of the farms have their own names, but no street address. Many houses in the towns too.
There is no word for Please in Icelandic.
The word for "goodbye" and "bless you" is Bless
People drive like maniacs here
Pop music here is horrible!

Thats all for now!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

We went horseback riding today. It was so beautiful and amazing!! I definitely want to go back sometime again before we leave. The Icelandic horses are so sweet and gentle. We were lucky and had lots of sunshine too.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Today was rainy and cold but pretty good. I was working in the midden again and we found more horse skulls! It started sleeting a little at the end of the day so we went in early. The hot tub felt pretty good today after working in that cold. So far I know about four Icelandic words Ja (same as Dutch for yes), kunst (same as Dutch for art), smjor (butter), and takk (thank you). I'm practically fluent as you can see. Tomorrow I think I will be working at a different site (there are several sitese here going at the same time) doing geophysical testing of some sort. Its crazy to look up from work and see the mountains all around you and the vast fields. The horses here are really cool and I hope that we can go horseback riding soon. There are horses and livestock everywhere and sometimes they will be right there on the site. The birds here are also really cool. One of the people on the dig told me the names of some but I can't even begin to spell them.
I know the little weather box on the righthand side there says the town of Blondous, but I am actually in the town of Saudorkrokur (there are accents in there my computer can't even handle) which is a little ways away but the weather website doesnt have it. I think thats it for now- back later!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hey everyone,
So remember that picture yesterday of me standing in long sleeves? Well here is me today with Kate...
iceland 4 009
I'm wearing two pairs of pants and 3 jackets!! I've been informed that it was 7 degrees Celcius, but I'm not really sure what that is in Farenheit. Today I dug in a midden (trash pit) of a farm. Most of the stuff was from the last century so its definitely not Viking age but there was still a lot of cool stuff. I found a horse skeleton!! Well, so far only the skull but still not too shabby. Digging here is pretty different from New England but its fun. The restaurant that we eat at every night made hamburgers and french fries for the Fourth (I ate the fries:) ). Yeah, not a lot is new but I'll be sure to update soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

iceland 3 022

iceland 3 011

I'll post an update later!

Monday, July 2, 2007

iceland 2 023
I made it to Iceland! We got in around 6:30pm EST and 10:30 Iceland time.
The flight was just the beginning of our trip, as it is was still a 4 hour drive
to the town where we are staying. Even though it was so late at night when
we got here it was still fairly light out. It looks like dusk kind of at home,
or maybe more like the really early hours of dawn. We stopped at a viking
ship you could walk around and then on to the house of some friends of my
professor. They were a really nice couple and had a meal of pancakes and
creampuffs out on the table for us when we got there. Then we drove straight
to Saudorkrokur. I slept on and off a lot of the way but the landscape
was really beautiful so I didn't want to fall asleep. There are little
Icelandic ponies everywhere and lots of sheep and goats. There are even
swans. I was surprised that when we drove through Keflavik and Reykjavik
that so many things looked so American. There are Ruby Tuesdays, Burger Kings
and huge car dealerships. As we got out of the cities things began to
look more different. The landscape is just amazing every way you look.
We arrived in Saudorkrokur around 5:30 Icelandic time. We are staying in
a dorm style building with shared bedrooms and bathrooms. I am sharing a
room with my friend Marisa and she helped get me set up. I went to sleep
for a few hours and woke up at 10am. Everything feels like a time warp!
I still feel like no days have gone by since I left on Sunday morning,
but at the same time it seems like a lifetime ago. After resting up for a
little while our professor took us on a little tour around the area to
show us some of the archaeological sites we will be working on. Tonight
we are going to go swimming, take showers (yay we haven't had one of those
since Sunday morning in Boston), and eat dinner at the restaurant that will
be feeding us for the whole trip. Anyway, I have to go now. We don't have
internet connection in the house we are staying, but there is a nearby lab
we can go to to check emails and stuff. I miss everyone so much already,
I'll be in touch through email!