About The Settlement Exhibition

is built around ruins of a viking longhouse


The Settlement Exhibition - Reykjavik 871± 2

The Settlement Exhibition - Reykjavik 871± 2 deals with the settlement of Reykjavík. The exhibition is based on scholars theories on what the heritage sites in central Reykjavík can tell us about the life and work of the first settlers. The focus of the exhibition is the remains of a hall from the Settlement Age which was excavated in 2001. The hall was inhabited from 930-1000. North of the hall are two pieces of turf, remnants of wall which was clearly built shortly before 871. This is one of the oldest man-made structures so far found in Iceland. Also on display are objects from the Viking age found in central Reykjavík and the island of Videy.

Why 871±2? 

A layer of tephra was deposited around 871 AD from an eruption in the Torfajokull area, about 400 km to the east. The layer was dated to 871, with a possible range of error or two years either way. The tephra plays a crucial role in dating finds from the early years of Reykjavik history.

Life during the Settlement Age 

Various methods are employed to explain and interpret the remains of the building. In a reconstuction window are controls for calling up a three-dimensional image of how the hall may have looked. Building techniques are also explained. On the multimedia table is a large model of the hall, with diverse information on the archaeologists´ research findings and methods, the hall as it was, and the life and work that went on there. Two touch-screens give information about cultural affinities between different North Atlantic nations and the Vikings´ expansion and how they settled new countries. 
Those who are keen to learn more about the archaeological site or other aspects of the exhibition can call at the computer centre on their way out. An exhibition guide which discusses accounts of the exploration and colonisation of Iceland was published.

Reykjavík 871± 2

Here you can have a look at some multimedia information as well as some games which are a part of the exhibition http://reykjavik871.is/





Aðalstræti 10 & 16

101 Reykjavík

Tel: (+354) 411 6370


For groups (10+) bookings please send a request to:


Opening hours

Opening hours

Open every day 10:00-17:00

Guided tours during the summer on weekdays at 11:00

Christmas & New Year

Closed 24 -25 Dec

Open 26 Dec 10:00-17:00

Open 31 Dec 10:00-14:00

Open 1 Jan 12:00-17:00


Open as usual 10:00-17:00



Adults 18+

2,650 ISK

Children (0-17)


People with disabilities


Students with student card

1,700 ISK

Reykjavík Culture Year Pass

7,450 ISK

City Card holders


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