Hamar Longhouse Excavation
Hamar 1 is known locally as Jacob Johorasen’s house, although there is no clear explanation why this is. Before excavation it was described as “the best preserved long-house in Scotland”. The stone built walls stood out clearly and it looked like a single phase building rather than one altered over time. However, excavation showed that there was either a feasting hall or living area there before the longhouse was built. Little of the original floor survived and the upper room of the house was altered several times. Beneath it, an earlier building, or “pit house” was cut 25-30cm into the bedrock. Its roof would have been supported by upright timbers set either end of the hollow. The Vikings built “pit houses” when they first settled in Iceland; the closest parallels are found in Norway and date from the ninth century onwards.
Evidence indicated that the top layers of soil had been stripped at some point in this buildings history, which led to very few artefacts being discovered during the course of these excavations.
A trench across Hamar 2, higher up the slope, revealed a house used as a dump for ash after it had become ruinous and abandoned.
Read more about the Hamar Trail.