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Įrbók Hins ķslenzka fornleifafélags

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Įrbók Hins ķslenzka fornleifafélags

						78                                                                            ARBOK FORNLEIFAFELAGSINS
of fairly regularly placed holes. The intervals between them is normally about
30 cm, and in each interval there is a small flat stone. Apparently thin wooden
sticks have stood in these holes, and it must be assumed that the sticks served
as a framework for an inner walling of some kind of fagots, for instance birch
branches, brushwood, rather than straw. This technique is here for the first
time observed in Icelandic Viking Age houses, although it is well known else-
where in the Scandinavian area. — The hall has only one entrance, on the
south wall (front of house). Outside the door there is a pavement of flagstones.
Notice, that the walls are not evenly curved from end to end. The middle part
of the house has fairly straight walls, but from there and towards the gables
the two walls converge markedly. On the whole this hall does not differ from
other known Viking Age halls in or outside Iceland, but the author has the
impression that it might be the oldest house at Hvítárholt, not least because
of the non-Icelandic character of the inner walling, but also because another
house (II)  had been built on its site at a later stage.
House IV (Figs. 16-17), a pit house of the same main form as House I,
orientation NE-SW, considerably sunk into the ground, size 2,4x3,1. No entrance
visible, the floor layer not very clear. In one corner a primitive oven of rather
big stones. Irregular post holes along the walls. Nothing indicates clearly the
use of the house, but not unlikely it was a bath-house like  House  I.
House V (Figs. 18-20), a pit house farthest west on the excavated area, very
similar to I and IV. Orientation NW-SE, size 2,2x3,9 m, no entrance visible.
At one long-wall an oven or fire-place of stones, very much damaged, post
holes along the walls remarkably few. An earth bench seems to have been
at the north wall. Might be a bath-house like the two others.
House VI (Figs. 21-22), combined byre (cowshed) and barn, the byre proper
about 10 m long and 5 m wide, but the walls were in many places indistinct,
although it was clear enough that they had been constructed of the same kind
of sods as all the other houses, sods containing the pumice from an eruption
just before 900 A. D. In the cowshed there are the usual two rows of sta'ils,
and between the stalls there are holes indicating that they had been divided
by wooden structures, not big flagstones on edge as is often seen. The floor
(drain) between the two rows of stalls is very uneven and not paved with
stones. Doubtlessly the door was at the gable end. — The barn is in fact an
extension of the cowshed, of approximately the same width and 14 m long. It
is a simple house without any interesting details. Strangely enough there is an
unmistakeable fire-place in the middle of the floor. This seems to indicate
that the barn was used as temporary living quarters, for instance while the
hall or halls were being built or rebuilt.
House VII (Figs. 23-24), a pit house, farthest to the east of all the houses.
Very similar to the other pit houses. Orientation E-W, size 2,8x3,8, the floor
90 cm below original surface. At the south end there is a fire-place of some kind,
either an oven or an open fire, now very much damaged, only sooty pebbles left.
The author finds it most likely that this house was a bath-house like the other
pit houses.
House VIII (Figs. 25-28), a hall, in the western part of the site. The hall
is 19 m long and 5 m wide in the middle. This hall seems to have been built
when the first one, House III, was torn down. These two halls are in some
respects different. In VIII there were hardly any post holes; most of the posts
seem to have rested on flat stones. The hearth in the middle of the floor is
of a more simple kind, made of flat stones. The floor is not very distinct. No
real sleeping benches seem to have been in the house. Instead the floor slopes
evenly upwards from the middle of the floor towards the walls, especially the
					
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