ARCHITECTURE: Icelandic Turf Houses Tour 1994.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "Mailing List for Irish and UK Architectural
Librarians" 22-NOV-1993 18:34:41.30
To: IN%"[email protected]" "Howard Lawrence"
Subj: Tour of Icelandic Turf Houses

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Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1993 16:10:32 CST
From: "David L. Carlson" <[email protected]>
Subject: Tour of Icelandic Turf Houses
Sender: Mailing List for Irish and UK Architectural Librarians
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To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Reply-to: Mailing List for Irish and UK Architectural Librarians
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Ned Heite asked me to distribute this to lists who might be interested
in the tour:

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1993 22:14:35 EST
Reply-To: Ned Heite <[email protected]>
Sender: Archaeology List <[email protected]>
From: Ned Heite <[email protected]>
To: Multiple recipients of list ARCH-L <[email protected]>

Turf-walled houses were the common form of housing in medieval Northern
Europe. Dry-laid rock walls were built up, and timber roof systems were
erected on top. Turf walls and roof covering made houses snug and

Much of Northern Europe abandoned this building technology generations
ago, but such buildings still are being used and maintained in Iceland.
While Icelanders today inhabit modern frame or masonry houses,
turf-walled structures still serve as outbuildings, and several are
preserved in museums.

At the invitation of local architects and a farmers' association, a
group of archaeologists and vernacular architecture enthusiasts are
organizing a turf house conference/tour, tentatively set for next August
(1994). We will travel around Iceland, looking at (mostly
nineteenth-century) standing examples. We will visit one or more
excavations, and see a reconstructed medieval hall. Then we will go up
to the interior and visit a working farm where the outbuildings are turf

Once we have visited the houses, we will build one. One of the last
practitioners of the ancient art will direct our group in constructing a
modern turf house, using traditional methods, from the volcanic rocks
and turf of East Iceland. Side attractions will include sightings of
reindeer herds, saga-related sites, and the most impressive lamb dishes
you've ever eaten! We hope that the cost will be kept down to around
$2,000 per person.

Format will be informal, "camp" style, with children and spouses
welcomed. We hope to include all levels of skill and expertise, but with
minimum formal presentations. The proposal is still in the idea phase,
so let's discuss the fine points.

To get on the mailing list or to help plan this project, get in touch
with Ned Heite, CompuServe 76254,231, or by phone in North America
1-800-777-9665. Organizer in Iceland is Louise Heite, whose phone number
is (international access code plus) 354 7 21489. We will depend upon an
Icelandic travel agent to set things up.

Please feel free to share this message with colleagues or other bulletin
boards, physical or electronic, as you see fit.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
David L. Carlson Phone: (409) 845-4044
Anthropology Department Telefax: (409) 845-4070
Texas A&M University Bitnet: [email protected]
College Station, TX 77843-4352 Internet: [email protected]
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