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What Ancient ‘Thing’ Was Found Under a Scottish Parking Lot?

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"It's a fantastic find..."

A Thing Sites TV reporter stands in the trench during excavation earlier this year. Recent dating of samples, among other evidence, confirmed it was a parliamentary site for Norse leaders. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Archaeologists said they found something -- rather, an actual "Thing" -- dating back to the time of the Vikings under a parking lot in Scotland.

The location of the thingstead, or a governing meeting place in Norse society commonly shortened to "Thing," was discovered in Dingwall's Cromartie Memorial parking lot, according to the Herald Scotland.

o'grady at thing site Archaeologist Don O'Grady in the trench carved out of the parking lot where the Thing site is located. Some existing structures and a piece of pottery was found in the dig. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

Uncovered by OJT Heritage, an archaeological consulting firm, and Dingwall History Society as part of the The Thing Project, the Thing is thought to have been commissioned by Thorfinn the Mighty, who ruled in the 11th century.

"It's a fantastic find, really," Oliver O'Grady told Live Science of the discovery.

“The lack of substantial occupation remains or burial activity is also further circumstantial evidence that the mound was created for an assembly site or Thing," O'Grady explained to The Scotsman. “The substantial manpower and effort required to create a monument on the scale of the Dingwall mound would also seem in keeping with the establishment of a major regional judicial and administrative center.”

thing sites tv reporter in trench of dingwall site A Thing Sites TV reporter stands in the trench during excavation earlier this year. Recent dating of samples, among other evidence, confirmed it was an assembly site for Norse leaders. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Researchers dated soil samples and found it "consistent with the period in which, following his victory at Torfnes until his death, Earl Thorfinn the Mighty had exercised authority over Ross," David MacDonald with the Dingwall Historical Society said, according to the Herald Scotland.

Watch O'Grady talk about the Thing at the dig site:

The Thing Project is seeking to find similar, permanent parliamentary structures from the Norse culture around the area. Take a look at the Thing Sites Facebook page for images of the Dingwall excavation.

It's not the first time a historical find has been uncovered beneath a parking lot. Earlier this year, the body of King Richard III was found under a parking lot in Leicester, England.

Take a look at the trench carved by archaeologists through the Dingwall parking lot, which eventually led to the confirmation that it was the site of a Thing:

(H/T: Huffington Post)

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