24 September 2013

New evidence of Dingwall's Viking past to be revealed

The topic of this article from BBC News is the discovery of a Thing site in the town of Dingwall, at the head of Cromarty Firth in northeastern Scotland, UK. Dingwall, from the Norse Þingvöllr, meant meeting place, hence the meeting place of the Norse Thing. This area is rich in Viking history and many discoveries have been made in the area. For readers who may not know the definition of a Norse Thing, I offer the following from the Glossary of my novel, The Settlers, the first book in my Axe of Iron series on the Vikings of Greenland.

Thing—The h is silent, thus literally Ting. An annual
assembly that served as the governing body of Norse society
and at which any Freemen could bring their concerns before
the chieftain, or lawspeaker, for the rule of law. Although
women could be heard at a thing, they had no vote.
(Ed.)
***
16 September 2013 Last updated at 08:43 ET

"Exciting answers" to questions about Dingwall's Viking past are to be revealed

New evidence confirming Dingwall's origins as a Viking power base are to be revealed at a public meeting in the Highland town later this month.
Dingwall's Cromartie car park is believed to be the site of a "thing", the meeting place of a medieval Norse parliament. Archaeologists excavated part of the car park last year.
A report on the dig, including the results of radiocarbon dating, will be presented at the meeting. Highland Council said some "exciting answers" to questions about the town's Viking past will be revealed. Ahead of next Wednesday's event, local councillors said in a joint statement: "Tracing our Viking past is one of the most exciting things that has happened in Dingwall. "The archaeological investigation well and truly put Dingwall on the map."
Dr Oliver O'Grady of OJT Heritage, which was commissioned by Dingwall History Society to dig a trial trench in the car park, will give a report on what the excavation uncovered. Another of the speakers will be David MacDonald who was commissioned to put together a historical investigative report on Dingwall as a Viking thing site.
A new book, Things in the Viking World, edited by Olwyn Owen, will also be launched at the meeting.
Treasure hunt
Dingwall is a location on a European tourist trail of thing sites. Funded by the EU, the Thing Sites GeoTour involves Scotland, Norway, Iceland, the Faroes and Isle of Man. It has been described as a treasure hunt in which visitors use GPS and mobile phone apps to uncover details about the locations.
In Scotland, thing sites can also be found in Shetland and Orkney.

The Dingwall event will be held in Highland Council's High Street office from 19:00.

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