Hansjörg THALER
(free archaeologist, Brixen, Italy)

Keywords: Iceland, Templar knights, prospections, drones

One of the most interesting mysteries around the Knights Templar is their famous archive, which was kept in different places during the last decades of the existence of their order. The last notice about it appears in 1307 when the last Grand Master De Molnay refused to bring it to France and when he was arrested.
In the same year, Dante, who was supposedly a Templar himself, started to write his “Divine Comedy”. It is believed that his famous work might contain hidden clues to the location of the archive. After a decade of intensive study, the Italian engineer and Dante-expert G. Gianazza was able to extrapolate the coordinates for the hiding place of the supposed Templar Archives in a specific area in Iceland. A decade ago in the same area a scattered short sword (Dage), typical for the Templars, and from the early 14th century was found. The presence of Templars on Iceland seems to be confirmed by sources from the Icelandic parliament Althing, which report the constant presence of a larger group of continental knights around the turn of the century.
In order to investigate the supposed presence of the last Templars on Iceland this area was surveyed with geo-radar in collaboration with Sirri Seren and the ZAMG Vienna as well as acquired digitally by Marco Block-Berlitz, HTW Dresden with UAV, creating a 3D model of the territory. Furthermore, an archaeological excavation was conducted with the focus on the walking horizon of the early 14th century, which was possible to determine by cross-dating the stratigraphic sequence with the many already dated volcanic eruptions. Marco Block-Berlitz supports also the excavating monitoring with systematic flights of UAV under extreme weather conditions with wind speed up to 50 km/h.
The use of cutting-edge survey and acquisition technology on a landscape scale, the processing of large data sets and the archaeological results achieved will be discussed and presented in this paper.

Relevance conference | Relevance session:
Drones and Geo-Radar in collaboration with Marco Block-Berlitz and ZAMG Sirri Seren, also excavation

New thematic, interdisiplinary project

Marco BLOCK-BERLITZ, HTW Dresden, Germany
Sirri SEREN, ZAMG Vienna, Austria