Papey

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This article is about the Icelandic island. For the similarly named Scottish islands, see Papa, Scotland.

Papey is an island near the east coast of Iceland in the municipality Djúpavogshreppur and is about 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi) in extent, the highest point on the island being about 58 meters above sea level.

The island was inhabited since the settlement of Iceland until the year 1966. There still are a lighthouse, a dwelling house, a church and a weather station on the island, the latter automised since 1998. There are also large colonies of atlantic puffins on the island.

Papey is said to be named after the monks called Papar and it is mentioned in the Landnámabók as one of two places where these monks lived. The story in Landnámabók is that as Ingólfr Arnarson and his followers had lived during the winter at Geithellar in Álftafjörður at a distance from Papey, some of his women followers climbed a mountain in the spring and saw smoke from the island. When they later got a closer look and found special items there, they understood that the smoke had to have been from Papar (or quote: "Vestmen") inhabitants. There are also some toponyms on the island (except the island's name itself) indicating Papar monks were living there.

Archaeological surveys on the island and in the area surrounding Djúpavogur, especially between 1970 and 1980, did however not show any evidence of any monk settlement, but they found evidence of Norse settlements. Some of these surveys were led by the president of Iceland at the time, doctor Kristján Eldjárn.


Coordinates: 64°36′N 14°11′W / 64.600°N 14.183°W / 64.600; -14.183