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Wood And Woodlands In Icelandic Literary, Documentary And Archaeological Sources
Paper by Dawn Elise Mooney
Given at the 3rd International St Magnus Conference, on April 16, 2016
Overview: The 12th-century AD Íslendingabók describes Iceland as having been ‘covered with woodland from the mountains to the seashores’ at the time of the Norse settlement in the late 9th-century AD. Current woodland cover is only around 1%, and much archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research has been devoted to the study of this decline.
However, there is also a wealth of evidence for past wood use, and past perceptions of woodland and wood resources, in the large corpus of medieval Icelandic literary and documentary sources. This paper combines these studies to examine wood use and landscape change in Iceland from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Top Image: Forested area of Iceland – Photo by Marco Verch / Flickr