Alex Casteel


BA Archaeology, Willamette University

MA/MPhil Viking and Medieval Norse Studies, the University of Iceland and the University of Oslo

Areas of Interest

  • Early medieval Iceland and the Iron and Viking Ages in northern Europe/Scandinavia
  • Posthumanist and new materialist archaeological theory
  • Material ecocriticism and embodiment
  • Old Norse language, mythology, and Norse architecture
  • Digital humanities and GIS


Alex Casteel (he/him/his) is a PhD student at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Although Alex's earliest archaeological fieldwork was in South America, he examined possible Viking-Age artefacts at a re-used broch in Orkney for his Bachelor's thesis after an interest in the synergy of material and textual information led him toward Norse archaeology, mythology, and Old Norse sagas. He recently completed his MA/MPhil in Iceland and Norway with a thesis that discussed the "Wind of the Giantess" skaldic kenning, which opened his eyes to ontological difference.

His transdisciplinary research now focuses on the early settlers of the Mosfell Valley in Iceland through the lens of the built landscape. By thinking of them as embodied participants in a material and more-than-human ecology with vast building potential, he will consider architectural construction and experiencing across a continuum from the actual to the virtual through senses, emotion, affect, and more.

Field Experience

  • Mosfell Archaeological Project, Mosfellsbær, Iceland
  • Chernihiv Archaeological Project, Vypovziv, Ukraine
  • Ness of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland
  • The Cairns, Orkney, Scotland
  • Nueva Esperanza, Cundinamarca, Colombia
  • Chavín de Huántar, Huari-Ancash, Peru
  • Huamparán, Huari-Ancash, Peru


Meredith Cohen
Stella Nair