Excavation by Thingvellir church in 1999


In 1998 the Institute of Archaeology commenced preparation and gathering of sources for an archaeological excavation on the area around Þingvellir Church.

The excavation took place in 1999. A trench was dug, ten metres long and two metres deep, from the northwest corner of the present church. Finds included the foundation of a 16 th-century church and traces of its structure, and an assembly booth nearby. The results indicate that a farm was not established at Þingvellir until after it had become an assembly site. Georadar readings were also taken at several locations.

Among the finds made during the excavation was an intact silver coin which turned out to be Norwegian and dating from the period 1065-80. It is an imitation of a coin from the reign of Ethelred II or Canute the Mighty which were minted in England around the millennium (997-1003).

As far as is known, no identical coin, i.e. minted using the same cast, has been previously found. Only one other 11 th- century Norwegian coin has been found in Iceland, at Bessastaðir in 1996.

Safe travel in Iceland
Travellers should prepare well for each trip and know its trail and route conditions.
The THING Project
The THING Project is based on the Thing sites that are the assembly sites spread across North West Europe as a result of the Viking diaspora and Norse settlements.
World heritage
Thingvellir was accepted on the World Heritage list for its cultural values in 2004 at World Heritage Committee meeting in China.
Protection and management
Thingvellir National Park was designated by a special law on the protection of the area, passed by the Alþing on 7th May, 1928.