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Urbanization in Reykjavík: Post-medieval Archaeofauna from the Downtown Area
Ramona Harrison and Mjöll Snæsdóttir

Journal of the North Atlantic, No. 19 (2012): 1–17

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Urbanization in Reykjavík: Post-medieval Archaeofauna from the Downtown Area Ramona Harrison1,* and Mjöll Snæsdóttir 2 Abstract - Reykjavík, capital of Iceland, developed from a dispersed rural settlement to nucleated urban community during the last 250 years. Prior to the mid-18th century, Iceland was a rural society that lacked towns or even substantial villages, with seasonal market centers and elite manor farms managing economic activities for widely dispersed farms and seasonal fishing stations. This paper focuses on two downtown Reykjavík faunal collections as part of the urban development from the mid-17th century. The collections from Aðalstræti 10 and Tjarnargata 3c reflect some of the changes associated with increasing population density and specialized production in a more densely populated area. Some of the finds data and history of the town are incorporated into this text as well as a brief comparison of all the post-medieval downtown Reykjavík collections with the archaeofauna from the 18th-century layers from the former southern bishop’s estate at Skálholt and also with that of the fishing farm Finnbogastaðir in the Westfjords. The substantial archaeofauna from Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 help identify the nature of these two sites and t heir role in the emerging town. 1CUNY Graduate School and University Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA. 2Fornleifastofnun Íslands, Bárugata 3, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. *Corresponding author - ramona.harrison@gmail.com. Introduction This paper provides an overview of early modern period zooarchaeology in what is now downtown Reykjavík from the past 40 years. Two archaeofauna from the late 17th to 19th centuries, Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10, are discussed in detail, as these collections best reflect site economies associated with the development of Reykjavík from village to town. Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 were both excavations led by the Icelandic Archaeological Institute with faunal analysis undertaken in the NORSEC and NABO laboratories at CUNY’s Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges. While all the post-medieval sites from Aðalstræti and Tjarnargata are briefly introduced with their faunal collections included in the major taxa and domesticates overview, only the two sites with large enough counts of faunal remains are discussed in detail. Tjarnargata 3c provides an insight into the fishprocessing activities and reflects an urban refuse-accumulation site, and Aðalstræti 10 possibly mirrors a set of households occupied by the workers employed in one of the emerging factory businesses. The two sites are not the single farmsteads encountered often in Icelandic archaeology from the Settlement era through the 18th century and beyond, but instead functioned as integrated parts of a larger community dependent on that community’s specialized production and consumption of certain animal food products. Settlement and Trade in Early Modern Iceland Iceland was settled in the later 9th century by colonists from Scandinavia and the British Isles, who established an economy based on both farming of domestic stock imported from Europe (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horse, dog, cat, and probably chickens and geese) with some cultivation of barley and on uses of wild resources (fish, sea mammals, local and migratory birds). While the documentary records of sagas and annals become contemporary with events described (and thus more reliable) only after 1100 AD, the early phases of settlement in the Viking Age are increasingly well documented by archaeology and paleoecology (Dugmore et al. 2005, 2007; Lawson et al. 2005, 2007; McGovern et al. 2007; Simpson et al. 2001, 2002). The early farms were clearly inter-linked by exchange, as marine fish, sea mammal, and shellfish remains have regularly been recovered from sites far inland on sites dating from first settlement (Harrison 2009; McGovern et al. 2007, 2009), but towns or permanent market centers did not develop during the Viking Age in Iceland as they did in Ireland. During the first half of the 13th century there was considerable strife and power-struggles between different leading families in Iceland, documented in the so-called Sturlunga collection (Vigfusson 1878). In 1262, Iceland became subject to the medieval kingdom of Norway, and part of the formal submission agreement stipulated the number of ships that should visit Iceland annually. In the high Middle Ages, most trade and exchange took place at seasonal centers around the coast, the best documented of which is Gásir in Eyjafjord (Harrison et al. 2008, Roberts et al. 2009, Vésteinsson et al. 2010), which operated from ca. 1200–1400. Gásir had some proto-urban characteristics (concentrations of booth-like structures used for a range of activities, street-like trackways, and a large wooden church) and may well have had a local impact as farmers shifted stock-raising strategies to provision the traders and sailors, but the 2012 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19:1–17 2 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 settlement remained small and seasonal, and unlike for contemporary European trading towns and emporia, coins remain conspicuously absent from the Gásir assemblages (Harrison et al. 2008, Roberts et al. 2009, Vésteinsson et al. 2010). Such seasonal trading stations remained the dominant form of overseas trade throughout the Middle Ages, with local magnates acting to concentrate and redistribute imported goods in an economy that probably stood somewhere between chiefly redistribution—characteristic of the Viking Age—and the fully monetized economies of the rising trading towns in Europe. The country later followed Norway (also Greenland and the Faeroe Islands) into a union with Denmark in 1380. For the following centuries, Iceland belonged to Denmark and was managed as a colony with increasing home rule in the early 20th century that resulted in Independence in 1918 under a common king with Denmark and finally the establishment as a Republic in 1944. During the 14th and 15th centuries, Iceland had considerable contacts with England and Germany, and merchants of both nationalities were active on the island, appearing in the documentary record in trade disputes with each other, Danish administrators, and sometimes the Icelanders (Þorsteinsson 1970). Hanseatic records of combined fishing and trading ventures to Iceland in the 15th century indicate local-level exchange of fish and woolen goods for imported grain and alcohol, but these seem to have been also carried out at seasonal stations without significant urban development (Mehler 2007). From the beginning of the 17th century, the main trading activities went via Denmark, and the merchants tended to be Danish (or at least subjects of the Danish king), with an official monopoly (1602–1787) followed by continued mercantilist protections down to 1854 (Aðils 1919, Karlsson 2000). This trade monopoly period has been blamed for slow economic growth and shortages of affordable imports. However, the discovery of early 17th-century non-Danish (probably Basque) whaling shore stations also clearly involved in local trade (apparently especially in tobacco and pipes), suggest that the monopoly was somewhat permeable (Edvardsson 2010). The whaling stations remained seasonal and never developed into towns or extensive settlements. Icelandic archaeology, especially the artifact collections, reflects this phenomenon: there is a general Icelandic twist to the finds recovered from domestic excavations. One does come across artifacts of a general European type; items that were to be found in other parts of Northwestern Europe tended to find their way to Iceland as well, during the Viking Age and also during the later periods (i.e., Sveinbjarnardóttir 1993). Yet there are generally fewer examples of each type, and often the artifacts found in Iceland are generally simpler or cheaper types than their mainland European counterparts. This general finding may be indicative of a small dispersed population that did not provide a concentrated market, relative poverty of most Icelandic consumers, or a generally restricted set of trading opportunities (Mehler 2007). Some of the Icelandic churches did possess high-quality objects such as Limoges cloisonné crucifixes (Þórðarson 1934), English alabaster carvings (Nordal 1986:85–128), and (by the 16th century) painted and carved altar piece sets (usually German; Líndal 1974:39, 127). Fragments of German stoneware vessels and some redwares are found in many medieval and 16th-century contexts (Sveinbjarnardóttir 1993), but these are fairly rare finds. By the early 17th century, imported ceramics and the first kaolin tobacco pipes become increasingly common, and by the 18th century, layers at Reykjavík, Skútustađir, and Skálholt yielded abundant fragments of Chinese porcelain, European painted and transfer-printed ceramics, glass vessels, and Dutch and English pipes (Hambrecht 2011, Lucas 2002:51, Mehler 2003). The development of Reykjavík in the late 18th and early 19th centuries thus should be seen as part of a wider integration of Iceland into the mercantile world system. Reykjavík History The present capital of Reykjavík had its beginnings as a farming site in the Viking Age, preserving a rural character throughout the Middle Ages. The settlement began to expand beyond a scattering of nearby farms in the 18th century (Karlsson 2000:182) The farm of Reykjavík (or Reykjarvík or just plain Vík) is mentioned in medieval Icelandic writings, mainly in the Íslendingabók (written in 1120–30 by Ari Þorgilsson) and in the Landnámabók (thought to be written in the 13th century by more than one author). Both of these works, only preserved in later manuscripts, describe Reykjavík as the location chosen by the first settler of Iceland for his farmstead. In both works, this settler is called Ingólfur, whose patronymic most likely was Arnarson (Benediktsson 1968). Little is known about the farm of Reykjavík through the Middle Ages. None of the “Sagas of Icelanders” are set in the area, and the chiefly competition described in the Sturlunga compilation played out in other parts of the island (Jónsson 1929). The Danish crown acquired the farm of Reykjavík in the early 17th century. It continued being used as a farm and was rented out to one or more farmers (Jónsson 1929:44). Nearby Danish royal properties at Víðey, Nesstofa, and Bessastaðir housed the head medical staff and the royal governor. The first two properties were settled 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 3 by Danish officials around the 1750s, around the time the Reykjavík factories were established; the governor´s seat at Bessastaðir had been there for longer (under various names), and by the late 18th century, all three boasted substantial buildings with tile roofs in Danish style and many imported artifacts (Finsen and Hjort 1977, Hallgrímsdóttir 1991, Ólafsson 1991). These three properties are all today within the greater Reykjavík area, but were originally dispersed Icelandic manor farms or monastic centers, and do not form an architectural core of an administrative district. Other farms were established within the present-day Reykjavík area, but their exact age is often unknown. By the time the first Icelandic census was taken in 1703, there were 25 farms as well as 40–50 cottages or dependent farms in the greater Reykjavík area, which represented a substantial but still unnucleated settlement concentration as well as the seat of colonial adminstration (Teitsson 1974). In the mid-18th century, a company owning manufacturing enterprises was established in Iceland with the main aim of manufacturing woolen goods for export. Several prominent Icelanders were shareholders. The crown provided the company with land in Reykjavík for these new business ventures (Björnsson 1998, Róbertsdóttir 2001). The two farmers renting the farm occupied by the manufacturing enterprises were evicted, and a number of new buildings were erected and some of the farm’s old buildings reused for the factories’ purposes. Several other houses in the neighborhood were already inhabited by members of the factory staff by the time the house in Aðalstræti 10 was built. In 1760, the manufacturing enterprises employed almost 100 persons, most of whom were involved with wool-processing; other workers were making rope and building boats (Björnsson 1998:84–85). The main trading station in the neighborhood was moved to the factory village, and despite its rather limited size, Reykjavík was formally assigned town status in 1786 by the Danish crown. Soon after, institutions such as a school, the high court, and even the Icelandic bishop moved to the town by the end of the 18th century. In the 19th century, Reykjavík remained one of a growing number of small towns and villages emerging in Iceland, mostly centering on fishing and commercial ports. Reykjavík´s eventual rise from small port town during most of the 19th century to its explosive growth in the 20th century as the commercial, cultural, and political center of Iceland (with a 2009 population of just below 118,500; Statistics Iceland 2009) represents a rapid transition of what had been an overwhelmingly rural society to a primarily urban society within a few generations (Jónsson and Þorsteinsson 1991). Although one might expect little archaeology preserved in a town center consisting largely of 20th-century buildings with deep foundations, a number of older timber buildings dating to the older settlements in Reykjavík have survived, and the potential for urban archaeology remains in many areas of the downtown district (i.e., Roberts 2001, Snæsdóttir 2007). Reykjavík Archaeology Covering the Post-medieval Period The site of the original farm is in the old town center, which lies in a depression between the sea Figure 1. Reykjavík at beginning of 19th century. (Jónsson 1929 after Ohlsen and Aanum 1801). Note the reversed orientation of the map. 4 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 and a small lake, and the land rises both west and east of that area. The relatively narrow strip of land between lake and sea mainly consists of a gravelbank, which is thought to have been formed only 1200 years ago, meaning that it was relatively new at the time of settlement. Before its formation, the lake was a small fjord (Einarsson 1974:44, Hallsdóttir 1992:12). There has been evidence for changes in the sea level in and around Reykjavík, very likely due to the rising sea level and sinking of the landmass, for a considerable amount of time (Einarsson 1974:42–44). Recent research indicates that this change in sea level is now 3 mm per year, but can have varied through time (Einarsson 2006). Archaeological investigations in the old center of Reykjavík in the later part of the 20th century and during the last decade have revealed building remains and deposits from older settlements. Figure 1 is a map of Reykjavík from 1801. There are only two streets: Aðalstræti (Main Street) runs north–south, and Hafnarstræti (Harbour Street) follows the shoreline. The new church is shown in red (as it is stone built) and is located just north of the lake (or right below it on this picture). The other stone building is the prison (later used as a government building), also depicted in red and located to the northeast of the lake. East and west of the “town area” proper, a number of small cottages and farms can be seen. (The map in Figure 1, drawn by Ohlsen and Aanum in 1801, was published in Jónsson 1929; the map has no page number and is located on the opposite side of page 160). In 1971–1975, an archaeological investigation more substantial than anything that had happened before (i.e., Grimsson and Einarsson 1970, Þórðarson 1938–1939) took place on a few of the plots marked on Figure 2. Structural remains from different settlement periods were uncovered. Three buildings dated to the 10th century and 4–5 were more recent, but still pre-1500. Among the remains were, however, also parts of foundations of a building dating to the factory period (Nordahl 1988). In 2001, an area at the southern end of Aðalstræti, Aðalstræti 14–16, was excavated in connection with the planned building of a hotel and restoration of an older timber house. Remains of factory buildings from the 18th century as well as a Viking Age hall were uncovered. The Viking Age ruin was surprisingly well preserved, and the decision was made to conserve the hall beneath the modern and restored buildings, where it can now be experienced as part of an exhibition, run by the municipal museum of Reykjavík (www. Reykjavík871.is). In 2005, a small house at Aðalstræti 10, (farther north of Aðalstræti 14–16), built in the 18th century and the last standing structure from the factory period, was about to be restored and rebuilt. An archaeological investigation of its surrounding area showed that the 18th-century structure had been disturbed in the 20th century (Gísladóttir and Roberts 2005). However, beneath its Figure 2. Map of excavation sites and coring points in downtown Reykjavík (Roberts 2001:6). Map legend locates only the sites discussed this paper (for a more thorough description of the numbered area, see Roberts 2 001:7). 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 5 (wooden) floors, layers of mixed peat ash containing artifacts and animal bones (Harrison et al. 2008) were recovered. No traces of medieval or Viking Age remains were found. Much of the information presented so far was aimed at giving a general history of the excavation work done in the Reykjavík town center in the later 20th and early 21st century. A recent excavation that commenced in 2008 in the downtown area close to these sites is about to be published, and its results are thus not yet included in this paper. The Archaeofauna The zooarchaeological data presented here comes from the analyses of collections from post-medieval archaeological sites in Aðalstræti and Tjarnargata. The various sites will be introduced and their faunal collections briefly discussed. Only sites with a NISP (number of identified specimens) of 5000 and above are discussed at length. Aðalstræti 8 The 1987 rescue excavation at Aðalstræti 8 in downtown Reykjavík revealed three occupational horizons whose latest phase consisted of a rubbish pit and contained a small archaeofaunal sample (Hallgrímsdóttir 1987). All these remains were found to be early modern or later, the oldest context probably dated to the 18th century. The Aðalstræti 8 archaeofauna produced a NISP of 98 out of a TNF (total number of fragments) of 257 (Amorosi 1996:183–185, 620). Due to the limited context information and the small collection size, Aðalstræti 8 materials are not included in this paper. Aðalstræti 14–16 (AST 14–16) Before reaching the settlement period deposits, the excavators at Aðalstræti 14–16 encountered cultural deposits from the modern period, the 19th century, and from two discrete early modern deposits, roughly divided into pre- and post-1764 phases. Only the latter two periods contained quantifiable faunal remains (Tinsley and McGovern 2002). These are shown separately in Figures 3 and 4. The early modern deposits from the excavation at Aðalstræti 14–16 did not contain extensive amounts of faunal remains. Nevertheless, a trend towards a prioritization of fish over domesticates for consumption can be observed, especially in the period from ca. 1764–1800 and several combined phases dating to ca. 1500–1764 (Tinsley and McGovern 2002:2). The year 1764 marks a fire in the area, resulting in the burning and subsequent rebuilding of structures on the factory grounds. Structural evidence indicates site activity in form of a building dating to either the late 17th or early 18th century. That ruin was found underneath the mid-18th-century or post- Figure 3. Early modern Icelandic major taxa comparisons. 6 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 1764 buildings. Cultural layers associated with very early textile manufacturing activities date to ca. 1750–1764 (Roberts 2001:66–76). The post-1764 phase can be associated with the rebuilding of the factory structures after a fire as well as increased industrial activity. The 19thcentury and 20th-century deposits relate to the more recent history of Reykjavík, but the limited number of archaeofaunal remains from these contexts cannot contribute further to the discussion. Aðalstræti 10 (AST 10) In connection with renovation work, a rescue excavation at Aðalstræti 10 was carried out in 2005 (Harrison et al. 2008, Snæsdóttir 2007). Work at Aðalstræti 10 revealed early modern cultural deposits mainly consisting of household waste from the period before the house was built. The site is dated to the 1700s until about 1754–1762, and is therefore contemporaneous with the latter phases of the early modern-period deposits at neighboring Aðalstræti 14–16. All of the Aðalstræti 10 contexts were located underneath a wooden floor. Although this floor had likely been replaced several times, at one time it could be associated with the original house from the 1760s whose scheduled renovation enabled and made necessary an investigative archaeological excavation. The site’s archaeofauna was quite variably preserved and will be discussed below. The midden deposit predates the house on this plot by a few years. The pottery and clay pipes found in the midden support the recent dating of the building to 1758 or later: One of the pipe fragments bears a maker’s mark that was only in use between 1758 and 1764 (Ahlefeldt-Laurvig 1980) and can therefore be used as terminus post quem. This date coincides with the historian Björnsson’s conclusion that this house was established in 1762 (Björnsson 1998:102–103). Tjarnargata 3c (TJR 3c) The Tjarnargata 3c excavation was another rescue excavation made necessary because of planned construction. During the excavation, a large midden deposit was uncovered. The midden seems to have accumulated over a long period of time, from the 17th to the 19th century. The collection was partially sieved, but because of restricted funding and time, only a sample of the total faunal material was recovered. This sample comprised 100 kg of animal bones and represents one of the larger archaeofaunas recovered in Iceland. Although the oldest layers of the site were probably associated with activities of the initial farm operation, most of the younger midden layers were likely formed in connection with a specialized fish-processing site, revealing predominantly skeletal parts of fish mixed with some domestic refuse (Mehler 2000, 2003; Pálsdóttir 2008; Perdikaris et al. 2002; Snæsdóttir 2000). Figure 4. Early modern Icelandic domestic mammal comparisons. 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 7 The finds from this site have been analyzed by Natascha Mehler (2000), who writes that most of the excavated pottery remains were red earthenware tripod skillets or pans dated to the end of the 16th to the 18th century. Very few pottery fragments were of more diagnostic ware types (i.e., Siegburg, Raeren, gesandete Irdenware), and the whole finds group can be dated between the early 17th until the early 19th century, roughly coinciding with the time of the Danish trade monopoly in Iceland. The pottery fragments predominantly belong to cooking wares, and the origin of most of these ware types was either Denmark or coastal Germany (Mehler 2000). Basic species break downs The early modern sites Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 produced a larger amount of elements than the other downtown sites, and despite a reliance on domesticates for consumption, especially on caprines, the presence of fish skeletal elements proportions by far outweigh those from all other species (Table 1). Figure 3 compares the Aðalstræti and Tjarnargata post-medieval and modern collections with the 18thcentury deposits from the Finnbogastaðir (FBS) farm in the Westfjords, NW Iceland, associated with fishing stations (Edvardsson et al. 2004), and the 18thcentury deposits from the southern episcopal farm at Table 1. Basic species breakdowns for Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10. Note that the bird and fish species information is represented in Tables 2 and 3, respectively. TJR 3C, AST 10, 17–19th century mid-18th century English common name Latin name NISP NISP % NISP NISP % Domestic mammals Cow Bos Taurus (L.) 387 0.58 64 0.92 Horse Equus caballus (L.) 10 0.01 4 0.06 Pig Sus scrofa (L.) 19 0.03 5 0.07 Dog Canis familiaris (L.) 40 0.06 2 0.03 Sheep Ovis aries (L.) 8 0.01 48 0.69 Goat Capra hircus (L.) 2 0.03 Sheep/goat Caprine family 727 1.08 461 6.66 Total domestic 1191 586 Seals Harbor seal Phoca vitulina (L.) 1 0.00 Seal species Phoca species 4 0.01 1 0.01 Total seal 5 1 Whales Great whale 2 0.00 Whale species 12 0.02 Total whale 15 Other mammals Arctic fox Alopex lagopus (L.) 3 0.00 Brown rat Rattus norvegicus (L.) 15 0.22 Birds Identified bird species (see table 2) 30 0.04 34 0.49 Bird species indeterminate Aves species 54 0.08 102 1.47 Total bird species 84 136 Fish Identified fish species (see table 3) 24,811 36.89 1533 22.15 Fish species indeterminate 38,819 57.71 4463 64.49 Total fish species 63,630 5996 Mollusca Periwinkle Littorina littorae (L.) 5 0.01 Clam Mya species 85 0.13 1 0.01 Barnacle sp. Balanus sp. 5 0.01 Mussel Mytilus edulis (L.) 2229 3.31 Mollusk species indeterminate Mytilidae species 10 0.01 185 2.67 Total mollusk species 2334 186 Total NISP 67,261 100.00 6920 100.00 Large terrestrial mammal 367 67 Medium terrestrial mammal 1075 711 Small terrestrial mammal 9 4 Unidentified mammal fragments 756 6036 Total number of fragments (TNF) 69,468 13,738 8 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 early modern archaeofauna from Tjarnargata 3c and the Aðalstræti sites is therefore of interest. The Tjarnargata 3c pig skeletal element distribution analysis has revealed a prevalence of meat-rich elements instead of parts of the entire skeleton and likely indicates import of hams or other cured meat products to the emerging town (Perdikaris et al. 2002). This finding may represent import from Denmark, but the prevalence of cured pork products as ships stores in the early modern period leaves open a wide range of potential sources. The Aðalstræti site reflects some examples of what may be at least semi-professional butchery: an early application of a meat saw (T.H. McGovern, Human Ecodynamics Research Center at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY, USA, January 2008 pers. comm.). The two caprine elements found in context (051) show marks from a saw blade and are skeletal element portions indicative of bones associated with meat cuts (for more information, see Harrison et al. 2008:20). Animal bones sawn with meat saws were also found in the early modern Skálholt archaeofauna (Woollett and McGovern 2003:8). As Deetz (1996:171) has memorably argued, a major factor in his 18th-century “Georgian transition” to early modern meat-consumption patterns was the provision of standardized cuts of meat produced with large meat saws (themselves certainly imports to Iceland), which could be presented on formal (ideally matching) place settings at the dinner table. Down to the late 19th century, most Icelandic farm families ate from individual wooden coopered bowls held in their laps while sitting on the edge of their bedsteads: no formal tableware was required (Lucas 2010). Much meat was consumed as stews, and marrow was extracted by percussion or by perforating ends of metapodials with a knife point. The individual diners’ spoons or work knives were used in final consumption in all but the most elite and Danicized households. This consumption pattern probably accounts for the observed continuity in patterning in butchery and consumption marks between medieval and most early modern Icelandic archaeofauna. These at least semi-professionally butchered sawn elements in early modern Reykjavík thus suggest significant alteration in foodways as well as possible off-site butchery, and may reflect consumption patterns of managers or modernizing households, but it is surely also significant that the great majority of the bone elements recovered from both sites show more traditional butchery pattern. A Developing Urban Ecosystem? Not only did the early modern Icelandic residents of downtown Reykjavík experience increased contact with “Georgian” consumption patterns, Enlightenment ideas, and mercantilist global econom- Skálholt (SKH), SW Iceland (Hambrecht 2009). The Finnbogastaðir farm’s archaeofaunal profile (NISP = 6410) falls somewhere between the one from the households at Aðalstræti 10, and the fish-processing remains from the middens at Tjarnargata 3c, i.e., a dependence on both domesticates and fish products, with a heavy reliance on the latter. The large proportion of fish fragments combined with a considerable number of mollusks that were potentially used for bait points towards a site heavily involved with fishing and fish processing. The Finnbogastaðir faunal remains indicate a site heavily relying on seafood, with gadid fish the most abundant (Edvardsson et al. 2004:9). The two post-medieval Aðalstræti 14–16 assemblages (ca. 1500–1764: NISP = 654; ca. 1764– 1800: NISP = 540), on the other hand, share certain similarities with the zooarchaeological profile at early modern Skálholt (NISP = 6806), indicating higher consumption of domesticates versus fish products (Hambrecht 2006). Skálholt was a major elite manor, a large school, and the episcopal residence farm. In early modern times, it was a major center with probably one of the largest non-urban population concentrations in Iceland, and most of the analyzed collection probably derives from provisioning the bishop’s immediate household (Hambrecht 2011). The Skálholt archaeofauna likely thus reflects highstatus consumption patterns rather than that of either contemporary smaller farms or fishing stations. Domesticates Figure 4 displays the domesticate profiles of the downtown Reykjavík collections in comparison to the same two early modern faunal collections as above: Finnbogastaðir and Skálholt. In general, the Aðalstræti sites’ domesticate profiles resemble the one from the 18th–19th-century farm at Finnbogastaðir, with the cattle proportion comprising less than 20% of the total domesticates in all sites. The big difference between the site in the Westfjords and those in the downtown area is that a small number of pig elements was recovered in the southern collections, but none in the one from Finnbogastaðir. The Tjarnargata 3c domesticate profile shares similarities with the one from Skálholt in the larger proportion of cattle, but the approximately 35% cattle percentage at the downtown site clearly falls far short of the almost 50% cattle percentage of domesticates at Skálholt, almost certainly a reflection of status. After the 13th century, most Icelandic sites show a decline of cattle relative to sheep and goats (caprines), but there is much variability by region and status. Generally, in Icelandic archaeofaunal collections, pig bones become very rare after the earlier Middle Ages, and pig keeping in Iceland seems to have effectively ended in early modern times (i.e., Harrison 2009). The presence of pig bones in the 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 9 stræti 10. Among the various species present are bones of Fulmar (Fulmaris glacialis), a bird species generally considered to have first appeared in Iceland in the 18th century. The Aðalstræti 10 archaeofauna shows high diversity in birds, including smaller auks, sea gulls, ducks, and geese. The seabird species could be caught from nearby bird cliffs that are found everywhere in Iceland (Kristjánsson 1986:115, 354). Some of the domestic and visiting ducks and geese likely were found at the little lake called Tjörn, located directly southeast of the sites (see Fig. 1). The collection included several domestic chicken bones (which are rarely found in Icelandic archaeofauna; Harrison et al. 2008), and it is possible that the goose bones may also represent domesticated birds. Some of the sea gulls may have been killed in defense of fish-drying racks, and their bones in these Early Modern middens need not necessarily represent food debris. Fish The faunal collections from Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 differ considerably in absolute numbers, but both are dominated by fish bones. Only 26% of the total fish remains from Aðalstræti 10 could be assigned to species or family level. At Tjarnargata 3c, 40% of the total fish were assigned to either species or family. Although the Tjarnargata 3c archaeofauna contains a wider variety of fish species of the two sites, both collections are clearly dominated by gadid remains. Almost 60% of speciated Tjarnargata fish are Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), and Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) dominates the Aðalstræti fish collection (more than 25% of speciated fish) (Table 3 shows the two sites’ fish assemblages). These percentages may be better understood as frequency ratios between the two species: at Tjarnargata 3c, the cod versus haddock ratio is 4.5:1. The Aðalstræti cod versus haddock ratio is 1:1.34. Thus, the Tjarnargata 3c site has substantially more cod bone than haddock, while at Aðalstræti the proportions are nearly equal. ics, but they also appear to have encountered some of the negative environmental aspects of globalized urban life. Tooth marks of large rodents (larger than the house mice imported with the Viking Age settlers) are common on bones from Aðalstræti 10 and at Tjarnargata 3c. Skeletal remains of Norwegian brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) at Aðalstræti 10 are possibly a result of bioturbation (the rats’ burrowing into deposits at some time after context deposition), but their presence on site suggests an expanding commensual pest problem (Lucas 2003). Rats were also found at roughly contemporary contexts at nearby Bessastaðir, the Danish Governor’s mansion (Amorosi et al. 1992). The multiple dog bones (representing several individuals) recovered from Tjarnargata 3c may also represent problematic relations with other human commensuals. Dog remains are common in pre-christian burials in Iceland, and their tooth marks are widespread on bone fragments of other species at all periods, but dog bones are exceptionally rare in midden deposits or other casual dumps. It would appear that most Icelandic farm dogs were neither consumed nor thrown on middens at death, and the finds of the remains of multiple individuals in the Tjarnargata 3c deposit may reflect the beginnings of the semi-feral dog packs that were to later concern Danish administrators and eventually lead to a 20th-century ban on dog keeping within Reykjavík (Ragnarsson 2010:51). Birds Table 2 displays the bird bone assemblages from the early modern sites of Tjarnargata 3c and Aðal- Table 2. Post-medieval bird species table excluding non-speciate d elements. TJR 3c, AST 10, Identified bird species 17th–19th century mid-18th century Common English name Latin name NISP NISP% NISP NISP% Fulmar Fulmaris glacialis (Erch.) 13 43.33 Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (L.) 2 5.88 Mallard duck Anas platyrhynchos (L.) 2 5.88 Duck family Anatidae species 5 14.71 Goose family Anseridae species 3 8.82 Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus (L.) 1 2.94 Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus (L.) 3 8.82 Common gull Larus canus (L.) 3 10.00 Herring gull Larus argentatus (L.) 3 10.00 Kittiwake Rissa Tridactyla (L.) 1 2.94 Gull family Larus species (L.) 4 13.33 1 2.94 Razorbill Alca torda (L.) 1 2.94 Guillemot family Uria species 1 2.94 Puffin Fratercula arctica (L.) 6 20.00 Auk family Alcidae species (L.) 2 5.88 Golden plover Pluvialis apricaira (L.) 1 3.33 Plover family Pluvialis species 7 20.59 Wren family Troglodytidae sp. 1 2.94 Domestic chicken Gallus gallus (L.) 4 11.76 Total identified bird species 30 100.00 34 100.00 Bird category (incl. unidentified bird spp.) as % of total site NISP 0.12 1.96 10 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 near absence of head parts of haddock from either site represents a strong “consumer” pattern not duplicated in Iceland apart from far-inland collections around Lake Mývatn 60 km from the shore (McGovern et al. 2007, Perdikaris and McGovern 2008). This finding suggests that despite the proximity of the shore and active fisheries, the residents at these sites were consuming fully prepared haddock rather than actively fishing for haddock themselves or purchasing unprocessed fish. The cod-element distribution indicates a ratio of head to body near normal (50:50% ratio) at Aðalstræti, but a clear surplus of heads to body at Tjarnargata 3c. While some of this cod bone deposition may reflect onsite consumption of whole fish, surpluses of head bones normally are associated with fish-processing points and fishing stations in Iceland (Krivogorskaya et al. 2005, Perdikaris and McGovern There is also a strong contrast between the two sites in the distribution of elements of the two species (Fig. 5) The ratio of premaxillary (mouth parts) to cleithrum (near the gill slits) bones have been used to track the distribution of heads (normally cut off and discarded near the landing point or associated with the consumption of whole fish) vs. body parts (which contain the cleithrum under all processing methods: Perdikaris and McGovern 2008). The Figure 5. Aðalstræti 10 (AST 10) and Tjarnargata 3c (TJR 3c) comparisons of specific skeletal elements: premaxiallae can be associated with the presence of fish crania; cleithra can be associated with presence of post cranial elments of fish (discussed in Perdikaris 1998;Perdikaris et al. 2002, 2007, 200 8). Table 3. Post-medieval fish species table excluding non-speciated elements. TJR 3c, AST 10, Identified fish species 17th–19th century mid-18th century Common English name Latin name NISP NISP% NISP NISP% Cod Gadus morhua (L.) 14,643 59.02 298 19.44 Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus (L.) 3308 13.33 402 26.22 Saithe Pollachius virens (L.) 498 2.01 10 0.65 Ling Molva molva (L.) 1098 4.43 Torsk Brosme brosme (L.) 7 0.03 Gadid species Gadidae 5105 20.58 822 53.62 Atlantic Halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus (L.) 40 0.16 Flatfish Pleuronectidae 96 0.39 1 0.07 Wolfish Anarchichas lupus (L.) 16 0.06 Total identified fish species 24,811 100.00 1533 100.00 Fish category (incl. unidentified fish spp.) as % of total site N ISP 94.60 86.65 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 11 to caudal. This finding would reinforce the head vs. body indicator of the premaxilla vs. cleithra proportions for cod from the same contexts and would suggest that a round dried cod product was being exported. The haddock vertebral distribution at the same site appears to reflect a “consumer” pattern of probably round-dried fish. The Aðalstræti 10 cod vertebral distribution is nearly a mirrorimage of the Tjarnargata 3c cod distribution, with far more vertebral elements present than thoracic. While the total fish sample size is much smaller than at Tjarnargata 3c, this cod vertebral distribution in combination with the premaxilla vs. cleithra distribution suggests a “consumer” rather than a “producer” profile for cod at Aðalstræti 10, probably in a flat dried form. The haddock vertebral element distribution at Aðalstræti 10 is less neat than the haddock vertebral distribution (again probably due to sample size), but there is again a clear indication that the whole vertebral column was being regularly discarded, suggesting consumption of a headless round dried product. Figure 7 represents cod live-size reconstructions based on Aðalstræti 10 and Tjarnargata 3c cod dentaries. The Tjarnargata 3c data was published previously (Perdikaris et al. 2002:20–23), but the graph is used to demonstrate how well the cod 2008). Especially at Tjarnargata 3c, the disproportionate concentration of cod fish heads vs. body elements suggests a major admixture of fish-processing waste. Analysis of the distribution of cod and haddock vertebral elements (caudal = tail, precaudal = mid body, thoracic = upper body) aids investigation of the question of local consumption vs. preparation for export. Two major fish-cutting and preserving methods were used in early modern Iceland: a headless round dried product (usually called “stockfish”) and a headless flat dried (sometimes also salted) product (when salted called “klipfisk”). The round dried product (especially desirable for export) tended to have much of the lower vertebrae (caudal and precaudal) included, with only the cranial and upper vertebrae (thoracic) being cut away and discarded at the processing site. The flat dried product was spread open to dry, and most of the upper thoracic and many precaudal vertebrae filleted away at the production site leaving mainly caudal vertebrae to travel with the dried product. The graph in Figure 6 displays the relative proportions of Haddock and Cod vertebrae of both sites. The Tjarnargata 3c cod distribution appears to reflect a clear “exporter” profile, with a significant preponderance of thoracic vertebrae relative Figure 6. Presentation of Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 vertebral proportions. Only analyzed Haddock and Cod vertebrae are compared. 12 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 It is never easy to distinguish fishing for export vs. fishing for subsistence, as most fisher folk also provision their households with fish—but often using the less salable species or size classes. On producer fishing sites in the West Fjords at Gjögur and Akurvík, these two patterns of production for export and for local consumption have been clearly identified in very large archaeofauna through the combination of head vs. body distribution, vertebral element distribution, and reconstructed live size (Amundsen et al. 2005, Krivogorskaya et al. 2005). In this case, it does seem possible to identify three patterns: 1) refuse from the production of a round dried cod product at TJR3c that seems to have been exported, leaving the heads and upper vertebrae behind (Fig. 7); 2) local consumption of headless round dried haddock at both Aðalstræti 10 and Tjarnargata 3c; and 3) consumption of both whole and headless flat dried cod (probably mostly smaller individuals) at Aðalstræti 10. Note that the Tjarnargata 3c deposit thus suggests large-scale fish processing for export, while the Aðalstræti 10 collection suggests a generalized consumer profile rather than heavy direct involvement in the growing fishing industry. The substantial numbers of shell fish at Tjarnargata 3c (2334) relative to Aðalstræti 10 (186) indicate that the creators of the TJR 3c midden were live-size reconstructions from this site fit the suggestion that this assemblage contained remains of commercially produced round dried cod fillet. The ideal cod live size for producing a dried fish fillet ranges between 600–1100 mm (Perdikaris 1999, Perdikaris et al. 2002), while the range of 400–700 mm represents the live size suitable for a smaller, flat dried cod or haddock fillet (Perdikaris and McGovern 2008). The Tjarnargata collection also produced hundreds of cod cleithra and premaxillae used for live-size reconstructions, and all matched the cod live-size lengths based on dentaries. The latter element was chosen for a comparison with the Aðalstræti 10 cod assemblage. Only 8 cod dentaries were useful for a live-size reconstruction, and no argument for production of a dried cod fillet is attempted. The graph suggests, however, that most of the few Aðalstræti 10 fish heads, represented here by dentaries, likely came from cod fish that at best fit the smaller dried fish fillet. These few Aðalstræti 10 cod dentaries may represent whole fish brought to the site and prepared there to be either eaten immediately or to be processed for consumption at a later time. In modern times, Icelanders have tended to export cod (especially larger individuals which would dry well in the round) and consume haddock and smaller cod at home (i.e., Gunnarsson 1983:70–71). Figure 7. Tjarnargata 3c and Aðalstræti 10 cod length reconstructions based on dentaries. (Cod live-size reconstructions are based on work by Wheeler and Jones 1989, Leach 1986, Morales and Rosenlund 1979) . 2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 13 probably heavily involved in bait preparation as well as in processing the catch for export and local consumption (Kristjánsson 1985:36–71). This distribution further strengthens the impression that the TJR3c deposit was largely created by the fishingindustry workers, though some shellfish remains probably also reflect human food debris. Site Provisioning The results of the zooarchaeological analysis in combination with the available documentary information suggest that the people living in the households associated with Aðalstræti 10 and Tjarnargata 3c were most likely involved in wool working or fish processing in the factories established in early modern Reykjavík. The Aðalstræti 10 caprine skeletal element distribution (Fig. 8) indicates that the majority of the elements were most likely not from animals kept and slaughtered on site. Very few caprine cranial and foot elements were found in the Aðalstræti 10 archaeofauna, usually an indication that animal portions were brought to site rather than live animals slaughtered there. A large percentage of hind and forequarters portions are present, suggesting meat cuts associated with the shoulder and pelvic area as well as the upper longbones of fore and hind limbs. These animals were likely butchered in a fashion that allowed for fairly standardized meat cuts to be distributed to consumers as suggested by the saw marks discussed earlier. The relatively small vertebral and rib proportions in Figure 8 are due to NABO protocol suggesting a lumping of elements that are not morphologically distinct enough to be analyzed to species or family level into MTM (medium terrestrial mammal) categories (NABO 2009). This method keeps analytical errors at a minimum. Nevertheless, this caprine skeletal element distribution shows a higher percentage of rib and vertebral fragments than others do (i.e., Perdikaris et al. 2002), and it is therefore possible that cuts associated with the hind and forequarter sections of the animals included a certain amount of meat portions attached to vertebral and rib bones. The food-waste assemblages associated with the Aðalstræti 10 households signify thus that their occupants were no longer involved with subsistence farming, but rather acquired some of their beef and mutton from neighboring farms, most probably through personal contacts or direct purchase. Since the factory establishments also owned some cattle and a number of sheep and ran their own farming operation in Reykjavík, they probably provided a further source of meat and other food items to the factory workers (Björnsson 1998:78). A much higher number of caprine bones than bovid bones is represented in the Aðalstræti 10 faunal collection, possibly reflecting the gen- Figure 8. Aðalstræti 10 Caprine Skeletal Element Distribution. MAU = “the minimum number of animal units necessary to account for the specimens observed” (Lyman 1996:511). 14 Journal of the North Atlantic No. 19 eral Icelandic animal consumption pattern in early modern times. Pork was likely consumed on occasion, potentially by the few Danish employees working as specialists and managers at the Reykjavík workshops (Björnsson 1998:84–82). The Aðalstræti 10 and Tjarnargata 3c haddock remains suggest that the people living in these areas consumed processed haddock products, which were possibly retained for domestic utilization, while dried cod products were exported The relatively diverse bird assemblage is notable and may reflect a mixture of bird consumption by humans and birds scavenging. Downtown Reykjavík is very close to both the ocean, and the little lake called Tjörn that houses many species of water fowl, some which may have frequented the lake since the time it emerged about 1200 years ago (Nielsen 1992:31–41). We know that birds, especially sea birds, were consumed by the inhabitants of Reykjavík in the 19th century (Þórðarson 1938–39:167–171). Sea cliffs populated with sea birds can be found anywhere in Iceland, and local seabird consumption was very likely also practiced during earlier occupation periods, when livestock herds still needed to be brought up to sustainable sizes (Kristjánsson 1986:354). The archaeofauna from Tjarnargata 3c is of an entirely different nature than the one from Aðalstræti 10. Out of a total NISP of 67,261, the fish percentage amounts to nearly 95% of the total faunal distribution and clearly indicates that the area surrounding the site was predominantly involved with cod fish processing and eventual export from the site (Perdikaris et al. 2002), as was the case at Finnbogastaðir farm in the Westfjords (Edvardsson et al. 2004:15). In contrast, the Aðalstræti cod skeletal element pattern indicates an occasional consumption of a fresh fish, either self-caught or acquired from one of the factory-owned fishing vessels, but also consumption of a cod product obtained in already processed form. Faunal preservation at Tjarnargata 3c was excellent, and the archaeofauna analyzed from the site is thus the best representative of the initial deposition of faunal remains from all the Reykjavík archaeofaunal collections currently published. Conclusion During the post-medieval period, the available zooarchaeological collections allow us to identify consumption patterns within the first proto-urban population of Iceland. At least some residents were now performing specialized tasks, predominantly in wool-working factories, on fishing vessels, and in fish-processing facilities connected to the manufacturing businesses rather than being full-time subsistence farmers or fisher/farmers (Björnsson 1998:56–60). The Icelanders working in the factories encountered Danes at least in their work space, as the latter were often employed there as foremen and administrators. These Danes may have imported cultural perceptions and customs from the European continent, and they may have also influenced the Icelanders´ food habits, i.e., their occasional consumption of pork hocks (Perdikaris et al. 2002). Many of the staff were paid in food or clothing and may have supplemented their usual food supply with the occasional fresh-caught fish, sea mammal, and bird. There is evidence that the leaders of the factories complained about the Danish merchants being unwilling to sell them provisions, and thus the companies had to arrange the food supply themselves (Róbertsdóttir 2001:148), and some of the patterning in these archaeofauna may well represent the result of these efforts. This involvement may have been increased during the later years of the factory period in the early 1760s when the trading company took on the administration of these enterprises (Björnsson 1998:96–97). The two sites chiefly discussed in this paper clearly differ from each other: the Tjarnargata 3c archaeological record can be associated with fishprocessing activities for an exported cod product (i.e. Perdikaris et al. 2008) and reflects an industrial production profile. The midden found under the Aðalstræti 10 building on the other hand displays a consumption refuse area created by people working for the developing manufacturing enterprises (Innréttingar). These people were no longer living on individual farmsteads, but instead participated in larger communities in smaller spaces, eating the prepared cuts of meat and filets of fish available to them, possibly being communally provisioned as part of their pay. While much more zooarchaeological data from what has become downtown Reykjavík awaits publication, this paper may serve to indicate the richness of these data for aiding understanding of the processes of urbanization and early phases of the development of the urban lifestyle now familiar to so many modern Icelanders. Acknowledgments This paper was made possible by the generous support of the CUNY Northern Science and Education Center, the UK Leverhulme Trust, and grants (0527732, 0732327, 0352596, 0234383) from the US National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs (Arctic Social Sciences Program), Archaeology Program, International Polar Year Program, and Human and Social Dimensions of Global Change Program, as well as the Icelandic Mil2012 R. Harrison and M. Snæsdóttir 15 lennium Fund. Thanks go to the students for their help sorting the Aðalstræti 10 archaeofauna: E. Alexander, F. Feeley, M. Gorsline, M. Hicks, and S. Mitrovic, and to Albína H. Pálsdóttir. Further thanks go to Dr. Thomas H. McGovern and Dr. Sophia Perdikaris at the Hunter and Brooklyn College CUNY NORSEC laboratories for their continued support and advice and use of their facilities. Dr. McGovern was incredibly helpful with paper revisions. 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