The moment before the fight
On the morning of April 19, 1246, two of the most powerful factions in Iceland, the Sturlungar and the Ásbirningar, locked horns in the bloodiest battle in the history of Iceland – the Battle of Haugsnes.
Some seven centuries later, Mr Hansen began the meticulous reconstruction that would take him over a year to complete. Using a power-shovel, he lined up more than a thousand boulders – one for each combatant – and planted iron crosses on the 111 boulders representing those who died. The result is an arresting snapshot of the formations of the two clans, taken moments before the fight began.
The story of the Battle of Haugsnes has been on Mr Hansen's mind ever since he was a child, as has the rest of The Saga of the Sturlungar. The book still rests on his night table, along with the Bible.
“It's hard to say which one's better,” he says.
Photography: Bjarni Felix Bjarnason
Editing/Composition: Þorsteinn J.