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

Slaves of Charleston - Beyond Wealth of Jewish South Carolina
2014 09 15
Founded in 1749 in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Beth Elohim Synagogue is one of the very earliest synagogues in America. While other synagogues and congregations are also now a part of Charleston city life, Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest one in the area and serves as the repository for certain historical artifacts of Jewish life in the city. ...
Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars
2014 09 15
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition ...
Swedish Surprise: Anti-Immigration Party Surges...
2014 09 15
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt Sunday’s election in Sweden was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Left. The Drudge Report ran a piece yesterday from the Guardian entitled: “Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path.” The paper, a left-wing British outlet, published the piece the day before the election; it proved to be, well, ...
UK School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’
2014 09 15
STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day. The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.” The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into ...
U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits
2014 09 15
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives. In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to ...
More News »