The golden ring and headdress are some of the artifacts found this week during the archaeological excavation of the ruins of the Þingeyraklaustur monastery. According to the professor of archeology, who participated in the excavations, these finds are among the most valuable in recent years.
Research on Þingeyraklaustur in Húnavatnssýsla, northwest Iceland, began in 2014 with the initial goal of simply finding out where the monastery once stood.
The project is coordinated by Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir, professor of archeology at the University of Iceland. “We stand in the ruins of Þingeyraklaustur, which was built around 1133, or at least started operating this year, and operated until the Reformation in 1551. It operated here for about 400 years, ”explains Steinunn.
Just this week, archaeologists found human remains in the tomb, believed to be the remains of Jón Þorleifsson, one of the abbots of the monastery. “After opening the tomb, it turned out that the person buried in it was wearing a golden ring, a kind of insignia with a symbol that led us to the trail of who it might be. He also had an intricate headdress on his head. “
Jón died in 1683, aged just 26. “Jón’s father, Þorleifur Kortson, was also known, especially for the burning of sorcerers and witches in and around the Strandir. He lived here with his son, and when he died, he apparently took care of this wonderful burial “ Steinunn says.
The cause of Jón’s death is unclear, but Steinunn hopes bone and skull examinations will reveal more details.
“We rarely find gold items. This ring and headdress are one of the most significant archaeological finds in recent years. ‘