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1 April 2015 Re-Evaluating the Scottish Thing: Exploring a Late Norse Period and Medieval Assembly mound at Dingwall
Oliver J.T. O'Grady, David MacDonald†, Sandra MacDonald
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In this paper, we make a case for identification of a thing site at Dingwall in Scotland, which has previously only been known from place-name evidence. A complex of features associated with the thing is reconstructed through reference to a mound, known in the medieval period as the Mute hill of Dingwall, which is shown to have been closely associated with a legally bounded field and church. Results are presented from a detailed local historic landscape study with findings from the first modern archaeological exploration at the candidate assembly mound, including geophysical survey and excavation. We discuss the complexities of the site's historical and landscape context with reference to the expansion of Norse lordship into northern Scotland during the Viking Age and Late Norse Period, and a review of recently identified thing sites elsewhere in Scotland. A considered interpretation is achieved of the political context for the thing's establishment and reuse during the medieval period, with reference to radiocarbon dates from the mound and discussion of the potential for Late Norse and Early Gaelic influences.

Oliver J.T. O'Grady, David MacDonald†, and Sandra MacDonald "Re-Evaluating the Scottish Thing: Exploring a Late Norse Period and Medieval Assembly mound at Dingwall," Journal of the North Atlantic 8(sp8), 172-209, (1 April 2015).
Published: 1 April 2015
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