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The People’s History – Iceland Review
Agnes and Friðrik’s story is famous in Iceland, but it is only one chapter in an era few Icelanders know about – a period of some 250 years when over 200 individuals were executed for crimes ranging from stealing to incest. “It is so strange how this history is hidden. If you look in Icelandic history books, it isn’t talked about, except for Agnes and Friðrik,” Archaeologist Steinunn Kristjánsdóttir tells me. “But that’s only one of 236 cases, and we’re still finding more.”
iceland 
yesterday by bradleyrturner
National Ice Bathing Record Broken – Iceland Review
Lea Marie Galgana broke the national record for longest time spent in an ice bath at the third annual ice bathing championships last week, mbl.is reports. Lea Marie sat in a bath at a temperature of 0°C [32°F] for an astounding 42 minutes and 20 seconds. The previous record was held by Vilhjálmur Andri Einarsson who remained in an ice bath for 20 minutes during last year’s competition.
iceland 
yesterday by bradleyrturner
Year in Review – Top Stories of 2018 #1 – Iceland Review
Genome of Iceland’s First Black Settler Reconstructed

Icelandic researchers reconstructed the genome of Hans Jónatan, considered to be the first man of African descent to have settled in Iceland. Readers were captivated by Hans Jónatan’s story, which began in St. Croix Island in the Caribbean, where he was born into slavery in 1784, and led to the small town of Djúpivogur, East Iceland, where he settled a free man. Hans eventually married a local and his descendants in Iceland now number over 700. Kári Stefánsson, deCODE genetics CEO, said Hans appears to have been welcomed by the locals. “This reaction from Icelanders in the early 19th century, who were isolated and not at all worldly, shows that racial prejudice is not innate,” he remarked.
iceland 
yesterday by bradleyrturner
A New View on the Origin of First Settlers in Iceland – Iceland Review
Einarsson says that his working theory is that it was an outpost from Northern Europe, Scandinavia or the British isles. Those men came to utilize the resources in Iceland: Birds, eggs, fish, whales and not least walrus teeth.

In Einarson’s view this means that settlement in Iceland developed from being an outpost, habited only part of the year into permanent settlement. “This replaces the myth of a long haired, angry king in Norway that drove the upper class to Iceland. It is complete gibberish and romanticized view of our origins that Icelanders are part of the Scandinavian upper class.”

Einarsson adds that old fables on the origin of settlement in Iceland have now been proved false. However, new theories will not easily make it into history books because of the natural conservative view of historians.
iceland 
yesterday by bradleyrturner
History of forests in Iceland | Skógræktin
As in agrarian societies everywhere, the settlers began by cutting down the forests to create fields and grazing land. Sheep were important as a source of wool from the outset, but by about 1300 they had become a staple source of food for Icelanders as well. At the same time, the Catholic Church (also the political power at the time) started obtaining woodland remnants, a clear indication that they had become valuable resources because of their increasing rarity. Sheep grazing prevented regeneration of the birchwoods after cutting and the area of woodland continued to decline. A cooling climate (the little ice age) is sometimes cited as a possible cause for woodland decline as are volcanic eruptions and other types of disturbance, but on closer inspection they can not explain the overall deforestation that took place. Cooling temperatures might have lowered tree line elevation, but they do not explain deforestation of the lowlands, where temperatures have been sufficient for birchwoods throughout historical times. Natural disturbance is sporadic and limited in area and thus cannot account for the permanent destruction of 95% of the original forest cover. In Iceland as elsewhere, regeneration failure due to livestock grazing is the principal cause of deforestation.

However, wood was used for fuel until as late as the 1940s, both for cooking and heating the new wood frame and concrete houses, which were colder than the sod homes that Icelanders lived in before.

It wasn't until the late 1970s that overproduction finally led to a quota system for sheep and dairy production and a reduction in sheep numbers.

Birch fuelwood ready for pizza baking
Birch fuelwood ready for pizza baking
The extent of Icelandic birchwoods probably reached a post-glacial minimum of less than 1% of total land area around the mid 20th century, perhaps even less than 0.5%. By that time, several woodland remnants had been protected from grazing and birch had started to spread within the enclosures. Afforestation by planting had also started. It is difficult to state exactly when net deforestation changed to net afforestation but it was probably some time between 1950 and 1980.
iceland 
yesterday by bradleyrturner
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MARS ON EARTH: HOT SPRINGS: ICELAND vs MARS. Here's my new drone video of active hot springs in vs (ancien…
Iceland  from twitter_favs
22 days ago by shaneisley
How to Tour the Most Bookish Island in the World | Literary Hub
Among the Museum’s holdings is an early edition of The Book of Icelanders, one of the country’s oldest and most important tomes...I was struck by this strange book, absolutely unlike anything in the US. A sort of grand unified history of the land, it made complete sense in a place where many people can trace their ancestry back to the very first inhabitants.
iceland  history  lit  read 
27 days ago by bradleyrturner
A Nazi's Disappointment With Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine
GOLDMINE FOR HISTORICAL BOOK ON ICELAND

“Views on Jews – completely uncomprehending. An Icelandic student was asked by his fellows, when discussing the Jewish matters: “Would you marry a Jewish woman?” And he answered: “Yes, why not?” Even the director of the national museum will hand an ashtray to a negro in a red coat.”

“Constant inconvenience day and night from crazy or drunk men – or both. All night, eleven o’clock, twelve, two, drunken Icelanders call and demand to talk with me. Awful alcohol abuse. Black death. Spirits. Alcohol and taxis. Drunken men out in the street. Smuggling.”

“No car tires to be found. Most cars are old, purchased from abroad. Fewer visitors to the swimming pool. No external stimulation. Men lose all standards. No fruits. We were going to buy a bed, in Reykjavík there were only two available. We were going to buy a sink, sinks have been unavailable for three weeks.”

“One thing is certain and must be clearly stated – there is nothing left of the noble nation and its pride, but servility, lack of decency, toadying and humiliation.”
iceland  history 
27 days ago by bradleyrturner

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