Viking ’Thing’ Discovered Beneath Parking Lot in Scotland
2013 10 31

By Tia Ghose | LiveScience


A Viking parliamentary site that dates to the 11th century has been found beneath a parking lot in Scotland.

The site, located in the town of Dingwall, Scotland, was dubbed a "Thing" site, referring to its name in antiquity. Like other Thing sites, this one was likely a place where ancient Norsemen gathered to settle legal disputes, uphold laws and make key political decisions.

"It’s a fantastic find, really," said Oliver J. T. O’Grady, the director of the site’s excavations and an archaeologist who runs an archaeological consulting firm called OJT Heritage. "No one’s had dating [information] from a Thing site in Scotland."

The Thing

Historians had long wondered whether Dingwall was a site of a Viking parliamentary gathering known as the Thing because the word Dingwall probably originated from the word thingvellir, which means "the field of the assembly."

Such Thing sites are scattered from Iceland to Norway to the Shetland Islands, and Norsemen traveled from far and wide to get to the seasonal gatherings, often to settle disputes that would otherwise end in bloodshed. But Things were held mostly at open-air fields, and people only stayed temporarily, leaving relatively few archaeological traces of their presence.

"Many archaeologists have said, ’How do you find the archaeology of a bunch of people gathering together?’" O’Grady told LiveScience.

O’Grady and his colleagues at The Thing Project, which works on similar sites around Europe, were not deterred, because traces of temporary dwelling booths had turned up at other Thing sites.

[...]

Read the full article at: livescience.com









Related Articles
6,000-year-old ’Halls of the Dead’ unearthed in England
Pre-Viking Age monuments uncovered in Sweden
Viking Jewelry Revealed in Sparkling Photos
Evidence of Viking Outpost Found in Canada


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »