Archaeologists Discover Viking Parliament Under Parking Lot

Archaeologists Discover Viking Parliament Under Parking Lot


(Image source: LiveScience / Oliver J. O’Grady) BY ELIZABETH HAGEDORN Archaeologists in Scotland have uncovered
what looks to be an ancient Viking parliament underneath a parking lot, of all places. Excavations in the town of Dingwall unearthed
what’s known as a “Thing” site. The term comes from the Old Norse word ping, meaning assembly.
(Via The Scotsman) These “Thing” sites acted as meeting places
for ancient Norsemen to settle disputes and make laws. This one in particular, historians
believe, was built at the instruction of the powerful Viking chief known as Thorfinn the
Mighty. (Via History Channel) The team was originally tipped off to the
site because the name of the town, Dingwall, probably came from the Viking word thingvellir
— meaning “the field of the assembly.” (Via YouTube / Nigel Cole) Using radioactive carbon isotopes, the team
was able to date the charcoal found in the soil, which they discovered dated back to
the medieval period. (Via BBC) The site’s director told LiveScience “It’s
a fantastic find, really. No one’s had dating [information] from a Thing site in Scotland.” Gizmodo points out there have been other ancient
discoveries paved over in the U.K. Just last February, researchers identified
the skull of King Richard III under a parking lot in Leicester, England. (Via National Geographic) And in April, archaeologists uncovered the
skeletal remains of eight people believed to be the relatives of a medieval knight — also
under a parking lot. (Via Daily Mail) The archaeologists behind this latest find
say they hope their discovery can help them learn more about the Norse Vikings and their
raids across Europe.

6 comments

  1. There's a street in our Old Town that has markers on the street/asphalt that indicate grave sites that are paved over. There's a cemetery right next to the road. Maybe you've heard of it. It's close to the Whaley House. If you go to Google maps, you can plug in these coordinates and find out what I'm talking about:
    32.751564,-117.193441

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