Some early settlers of Iceland chose the fertile valley of Þjórsádal as the site for their farmsteads. They were unaware of the fact that the tranquil-looking, snow-capped mountain towering on the south was an active volcano. In 1104, there was a massive eruption in Mount Hekla, and the settlement in Þjórsádal was buried under tons of volcanic debris and ash. In 1939 Scandinavian archaeologists excavated Stöng and revealed what was left of the smothered Saga-age farm. The findings provided fresh data about the design and construction of Viking long-houses and their evolution up to the 12th century and other valuable information about the period known as the Commonwealth. In 1974, on the 1100th anniversary of the settlement of Iceland, architect Hörður Ágústsson and a team of historians pieced together the available data and meticulously constructed a replica of Stöng at Skeljastaðir, a few kilometers down the valley.