Friday, 3 October 2008

History in the News: 17th century whaling station unearthed in Iceland

by Derry Nairn

The bloggers at Archaeology Magazine alerted us to the unearthing of an old Basque whaling station in Iceland last week.

The English language online newspaper Iceland Review quotes head archaeologist Ragnar Edvardsson as saying the find is of international significance. Up until now there had been no record of such an old whaling site in Iceland.

Edvardsson goes on to say the find represents
"the only remnants of foreign residency in Iceland in the 17th century."
During the period, Iceland's Danish rulers had a monopoly on Icelandic trade and forbade any contact between the island's residents and foreigners.

This discovery comes in the wake of a Greenpeace report that alleges Iceland and Norway have resumed commerical whaling over the summer, in defiance of an International Whaling Committee ban.

Read more about the history of whaling in History Today's extensive archive.

Click here to read the post on the Archaeology Magazine Blog.

Click here to read the original report in the Iceland Review.

Click here for the Greenpeace report.

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