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Day Conference and Archaeological Investigation in Dingwall.

Published: 06 September 2012

On Thursday 13 September a day conference will be held in Dingwall. The purpose of the conference is to present an awareness of the outcomes of the THING International Project to an audience of representatives from local heritage groups and organisations, local councillors - Highland elected members, community councillors - and local businesses and organisations particularly those active in the tourism industry

The day conference will receive a number of presentations, particularly from representatives from three of the Project Partners, Shetland, Orkney and Dingwall Highland. Eileen Brook-Freeman from the Shetland Place-names Project will present an overview of the Thing Project and introduce the Thing-sites website; Julie Gibson, UHI lecturer, Orkney Islands County Archaeologist and Heritage Tourism Officer, will present a review of the impact of the Thing Project on Orkney and its heritage tourism; David MacDonald of the Dingwall History Society will report on historical investigation of the Dingwall thingsite  and wider aspects of the Viking impact on Ross; Dr Oliver O’Grady, the leading authority on Scottish  medieval assembly sites, will speak on archaeological investigations at the Dingwall thing mound and wider aspects of Scottish assembly sites. 

As well as the conference, Dingwall History Society have comissioned a trial excavation to take place at the Cromartie Car Park in Dingwall during the week beginning 10th of September. The excavation will aim to investigate the site of Dingwall’s ancient Viking Thing. The excavation is informed by recent historical research by David and Sandra MacDonald of the Dingwall History Society and will use the results of radar survey undertaken at the car-park in 2011 to accurately locate the investigative trench.

 Permission and support for the project has been obtained from The Highland Council which manages the Car Park. The fieldwork will be largely undertaken by hand and completed under professional archaeological supervision provided by Dr Oliver JT O’Grady, an archaeological consultant and leading specialist on Scottish medieval assembly sites, who will be supported by a contracted machine excavator to open the trench. The project has been supported by grants from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Hunter Archaeological Trust, Russell Trust, Strathmartine Trust and the Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Members’ Discretionary Budget.  

David MacDonald, chair of Dingwall History Society says  “The Thing Project has created a better understanding of Dingwall as a thing-site and has enhanced Dingwall’s international significance as the site of a historically significant medieval place of assembly. The conference will report on Dingwall in the context of Viking thing-sites. The planned excavation adds to the sense of excitement and will introduce school pupils of Dingwall, 'The Dingwall Detectives', to archaeological investigation of a site of European significance.” 

For more information  contact David and Sandra MacDonald Dingwall History Society on 01349 863063 dmacdon42@aol.com

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