A peatland landscape at Akraberg, Suouroy, Faroe Islands: Peat mounds and a cautionary lesson

Kevin John Edwards, Rolf Guttesen, Petur J. Sigvardsen

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Abstract

The peatland landscape above the headland of Akraberg at the southern tip of Suouroy in the Faroe Islands features relict peat cuttings of various age - from the 1950s and perhaps centuries before - as well as mounds of peat. Superficially, the latter might be thought to be abandoned stacks. In fact they are 'torvlao') (singular torvlao) representing platforms of fragmentary peat upon which stacks had been constructed after turves had passed through several intermediate drying stages. The removal of dried peat from the torvlao and the continued use of the platforms led to a gradual increase in torvlao height. General comparisons are made with peat mounds from the British Isles. The peatscape at Akraberg yields implied lessons for studies of ethnography and warns of potential dangers in landscape misinterpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalDanish Journal of Geography
Volume108
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Peat cutting
  • peat stack
  • 'torvlao'
  • Faroe Islands
  • Suouroy
  • landscape interpretation
  • pollen

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