Law Ting Holm
The Law Ting Holm is situated at the North end of the Loch of Tingwall and is connected by a landbridge, 6 feet wide and 140 feet long which connects the holm to the shore. This was the seat of the lawthing, the Norse parliament in Shetland, where a group of local representatives would meet with royal servants on a yearly basis.
The holm was found, at the begining of the century, to contain the remains of a wall, which was facing the loch to the east. The wall no longer exists, but the fact there was a wall suggests that originally there were two others facing the lochside, creating a secluded open topped area for deliberation. This therefore was to have the effect of controlling access into the Lawthing.
A four week excavation of the holm was begun at the beginning of May 2011 as part of The Assembly Project – Meeting-places in Northern Europe AD 400-1500 (TAP). It is an international collaborative project investigating the first systems of governance in Northern Europe. TAP is led by the Museum of Cultural History (University of Oslo) and involves principal investigators from the Department of Archaeology Durham University, the Department of Prehistory and Historical Archaeology University of Vienna and the Centre for Nordic Studies UHI Millennium Institute, Orkney.