Drumbabót is a 100-hectare tract of land where the remains of an ancient forest are visible, due to wind and water erosion over the last century. The desert-like area contains the last vestiges of what may have been a 2000-hectare birch forest that is thought to have flourished there between 755-830 AD. One hundred hectares of battered 1200 year old tree stumps are all that remain of this dense forest that may have seen 500-600 mature trees (per hectare) in its heyday. Comparable to some of the largest trees found in Iceland today, many of the trees grew to 30 cm in diameter. Still in their upright position, and all leaning in a south-westerly direction, these old relics are firmly embedded in palagonite soil, suggesting Katla in the nearby Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Annual rings indicate that the trees were 70-100 years old when they died and all at the same time and that they most likely died in the onslaught of a glacial outburst flood from the eruption of Katla. The rings nearest to the outer bark also support this theory.
With only 45 km separating Drumbabót from the perimeter of Mýrdalsjökull, it is probable that the glacier burst was of enormous proportions. Research shows that 11-14 glacial floods have come down the Markafljót flood plain in the last 9000 years, the last one of which was likely to have completely devastated this once thriving forest.
The tree stumps in Drumbabót are not unique in Iceland; similar remains were found near Hekla, the difference being that Drumbabót has been better preserved due to the 90 cm thick layer of sediment which protected the trees so well that the bark is still intact on many of them. There may have been a farm at the site, possibly around the year 1500, although little is known about it. Archaeological findings from the area include Baltic amber buttons and a knife, which are on display at the Skógar Folk Museum.