Written sources suggest the first settler to arrive in Iceland was Ingólfur Arnarson who settled in Reykjavík in the year 874. New research suggests the first people arrived as much as 100 years earlier.
…Bjarni Einarsson, the archeologist in charge of the dig told the local TV station Stöð 2 that the younger of the two houses was built on the ruins of the older structure, which measures as much as 40 meters (130 ft). Both structures are located beneath the “settlement layer”, a layer of volcanic tephra that fell sometime in the years 869-73, making both older than the “official” time of settlement which began in 874, according to the Icelandic Sagas and the Book of Settlement, medieval sources on the Viking Age and the settlement of Iceland.
…The very name of the farm Stöð and the fjord Stöðvarfjörður seem to support this theory: Stöð translates as camp, station or base.
Such seasonal camps could have been used for decades before permanent settlement began. Bjarni believes they played a key role in the settlement of Iceland:
“People would have come here to work part of the year, producing goods during summer to take home in the fall. They would have taken these goods home, as well as information about this new land. Based on this information people would then have been able to make an informed decision to settle here permanently.”