Macy’s 2020 Thanksgiving Day Parade: Here’s how to watch – CNET

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The Jennie-O turkey balloon will gobble its way through the altered parade.

Courtesy Macy's
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Thanksgiving looks different in many ways in this coronavirus year of 2020, and the traditional Macy's Thanksgiving parade is different, too. But the holiday spectacular will happen, and it will still be televised live, so home cooks can tune in while prepping their socially distanced turkey dinners. Here's how to follow along, and what to expect.

What's changed?

Macy's has partnered with the city of New York to try to make this year's parade safe, without sacrificing spectacle.

"In order to avoid gathering large crowds of spectators along our traditional 2.5-mile route in New York City, we have shortened the route to focus solely on the last section of our annual march," a representative for the company said in a statement. "On Thanksgiving Day, we will showcase our annual celebration's signature balloons, floats, performances and herald the arrival of Santa Claus, in front of Macy's famed flagship store on 34th Street for our national television special on NBC."

In other words, don't head to the store, New Yorkers -- stay home and watch the balloons and floats on TV or online.

The company is also reducing the number of participants, testing them for COVID-19 and pre-recording performances that are usually live. Participants will wear masks and social distance, student marching bands won't join in this year, and the annual Thanksgiving eve balloon-inflation celebration won't be held.

A selection of the signature giant character balloons will still be there, but instead of being flown by 80 to 100 human handlers, they'll be flown by special vehicles involving fewer people.

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Monkey business at the Macy's parade.

Courtesy Macy's

What to look for

So many Pikachu

Gotta catch 'em all: Viewers will see a troupe of dancing Pikachu and a massive Pikachu balloon. And there's a special reason for all the Pikachu passion, but the Pokémon Company isn't saying what it is until the parade begins. This is the 20th consecutive year that a Pikachu balloon will be part of the parade.

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Pikachu will take to the skies once more this year. 

Pokemon Company

Broadway's best

Don't throw away your shot. There will be performances from the cast of the blockbuster musical Hamilton, as well as other musicals, including Ain't Too Proud -- The Life and Times of The Temptations, Jagged Little Pill and Mean Girls. The Radio City Rockettes will also perform.

Dueling holiday-movie floats

Lifetime holiday movies have many devoted fans, and this year for the first time, the network is participating in the parade. Its float resembles a charming small-town square like those seen in many of the movies and features enough (fake, we guess) snow to make 9,000 snowballs. Tori Kelly will perform on the float.

But maybe you prefer the Hallmark Channel's holiday movies? That network offers a float designed to resemble a 3-D Christmas countdown calendar, with surprises behind each marked December date, a central fireplace, and a performance by Pentatonix.

Meet the new boss

The business-suited Boss Baby from the 2010 book, 2017 film and 2018 Netflix series will bring his big head and serious demeanor to the parade. He'll be a new balloon this year, spreading early hype for the planned 2021 big-screen sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business.

Tom and Jerry

There's a combination live-action/animated Tom and Jerry movie coming in 2021, assuming the pandemic allows. The famous fighting cat and mouse have a comedic float in the parade this year. In keeping with the duo's slapstick history, their float is designed to look like it's been in a crash and features a gag where Tom inflates. Meowza!

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Tom of Tom and Jerry looks to be plotting something.

Courtesy Macy's

How and when to watch

The parade will air on NBC on Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon in all time zones.

You can also watch online. Sponsor Verizon will live-stream the spectacle on Twitter and YouTube. The company encourages fans to tweet relevant family photos using the hashtags #VerizonLive and #MacysParade for a chance to be included in the livestream.

If you watch on your mobile device, you can check out the Parade Portal for 360-degree views of the show.

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Bill Gates: ‘Almost all’ coronavirus vaccines will work by February – CNET

Bill Gates is feeling optimistic about coronavirus vaccine development. The first two vaccine candidates likely to receive FDA authorization, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, appear to be 95 percent effective against the virus. But the Microsoft co-founder and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also has high hopes for vaccines that haven't yet made big headlines, with enthusiasm for those developed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

"Almost all the vaccines will work and with very high efficacy levels," Gates told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview on Sunday. "I'm optimistic that by February it's very likely that they'll all prove very efficacious and safe."

But the world isn't out of the woods just yet.

"We should be very worried about the next six months," Gates said, adding that he thinks the daily death rate from the virus will top 2,000 for much of the winter. He also discussed issues with testing and vaccine distribution, but thinks those challenges will be met.

"In a slightly imperfect way, I do think the logistics will get solved," Gates said. "Over time, we will get to that 70 percent-plus level that we need in order to stop the spread of the disease."

Gates says his own Thanksgiving dinner will be small and he'll set up a video connection with family members who aren't present. He urged Americans to wear masks and social distance as we continue to wait for a vaccine.

"You know," he said, "try not to have your family be the last death in this pandemic because you're willing to see it through until the spring, which is when the vaccine will really start to cut the numbers down." 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The Mandalorian episode 4 reveals … a guy in a T-shirt and jeans? – CNET

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Look closely in the very far left corner of this photo, and see if you can spot what appears to be a Mandalorian crew member in a T-shirt and jeans.

Disney Plus

Armor is an important part of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. But in the latest episode, The Siege, someone's not wearing their armor -- or any costume at all. In a battle scene, what appears to be a crew member wearing a T-shirt and jeans is visible just under the arm of Carl Weathers, who's playing Greef Karga and who also directed the episode.

The goof shows up at about 18:54 for me -- freeze your Disney Plus screen just after the guards shout "Destroy it!" and then look on the far left of the screen to spot what looks like a crew member in gray T-shirt, jeans and with a very visible dark watch on his wrist, flattening himself against the wall. 

As Greef Karga, Cara Dune and Mando come closer into the shot, you'll see a little more of the crew member. Then the shot cuts back to the guard, and when it cuts back to the main characters, the crew member has vanished.

In a boon for reporters writing about the goof, the quick scene showing the crew member is actually one of the promotional shots distributed by Disney Plus for that episode. Oops, and also, thanks.

A representative for Disney Plus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

People were quick to compare the apparent goof to that now-infamous Game of Thrones scene, where what appears to be a Starbucks disposable coffee cup is seen on a table next to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But Entertainment Weekly points out that it's actually more similar to a scene in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, which also appears to feature a casually clad crew member in a scene.

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The Mandalorian episode 4 reveals … a guy in a T-shirt and jeans? – CNET

mandalorian-goof-crop.png

Look closely in the very far left corner of this photo, and see if you can spot what appears to be a Mandalorian crew member in a T-shirt and jeans.

Disney Plus

Armor is an important part of The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. But in the latest episode, The Siege, someone's not wearing their armor -- or any costume at all. In a battle scene, what appears to be a crew member wearing a T-shirt and jeans is visible just under the arm of Carl Weathers, who's playing Greef Karga and who also directed the episode.

The goof shows up at about 18:54 for me -- freeze your Disney Plus screen just after the guards shout "Destroy it!" and then look on the far left of the screen to spot what looks like a crew member in gray T-shirt, jeans and with a very visible dark watch on his wrist, flattening himself against the wall. 

As Greef Karga, Cara Dune and Mando come closer into the shot, you'll see a little more of the crew member. Then the shot cuts back to the guard, and when it cuts back to the main characters, the crew member has vanished.

In a boon for reporters writing about the goof, the quick scene showing the crew member is actually one of the promotional shots distributed by Disney Plus for that episode. Oops, and also, thanks.

A representative for Disney Plus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

People were quick to compare the apparent goof to that now-infamous Game of Thrones scene, where what appears to be a Starbucks disposable coffee cup is seen on a table next to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But Entertainment Weekly points out that it's actually more similar to a scene in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, which also appears to feature a casually clad crew member in a scene.

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Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite for Coming 2 America 2 on Amazon – CNET

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Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Coming 2 America 2 is coming to a home screen near you. The sequel to the original Coming 2 America, the 1988 big-screen comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, was scheduled to open in theaters in 2020. But on Friday, Amazon Studios announced it's acquired worldwide rights to the film, and will make it available on Prime Video on March 5, 2021. 

Murphy and Hall are reprising their roles, with Murphy playing Prince Akeem Joffer from the fictional African nation of Zamunda, and Hall as his best friend, Semmi.

"Coming to America was a cultural phenomenon that is one of the most loved and celebrated comedies of all time," said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke in a statement. 

In addition to Murphy and Hall, cast members including James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos and Louie Anderson will return. New cast members include Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan. The first film's barbershop crew will also return, which was great news for some fans.

"Amazon confirming that Coming To America 2 will feature all the barbershop lads has made me happier than Joe Louis on his 137th birthday," wrote one Twitter user, referencing a favorite bit of dialogue from the original film.

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Don’t miss Jupiter, Saturn and the moon forming a triangle in the sky Thursday night – CNET

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The moon will put on a show Thursday night with Jupiter and Saturn.

Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images

It's thoughtful of the night sky to offer us so many good views during this year of coronavirus, with so many people stuck at home. From the Leonid meteor shower to Halloween's blue moon, skywatchers have been spoiled recently. And here's another goodie: Head outside Thursday night to see the moon, Saturn and Jupiter form a neat triangle. The crescent moon will be visible in the south-southwest as soon as the sky darkens, but the other two show up a little later. Jupiter should make an appearance after sunset, and Saturn a little later on.

"The best observing time is about 30 minutes after local sunset for about two hours while the moon and planets are high enough in the sky to be nicely visible," astronomy educator and former planetarium director Jeffrey Hunt told me in an email. He's written about the view on his site, When the Curves Line Up.

But if you miss that exact timing, it's still worth stepping outside. Hunt says the view will still be good until about four and a half hours after your local sunset. Saturn appears a little later because it's dimmer than Jupiter, he says, and brighter stars appear in the sky after sunset, while dimmer stars show up later.

And you don't need special equipment. Hunt says "a binocular or small telescope, such as a bird watching scope, will show lunar craters (and) the moons of Jupiter.  If the binocular is held steady, some of Jupiter's larger moons are visible. The small telescope will show a hint that Saturn has rings."

If you miss Thursday night's show, look forward to more sky sights in December. Hunt notes that there's another grouping of the moon and the Jupiter-Saturn pair on Dec. 16, when the planets will be closer together. 

That's just five days before a much-anticipated event dubbed The Great Conjunction, which will happen on Dec. 21. No, not Conjunction Junction -- Hunt explains that when the moon, or a planet, has the same celestial longitude as another celestial object, we call that a conjunction. Jupiter passes Saturn in a conjunction every 19.6 years, so the event is already rare, but the Dec. 21 event will be the closest conjunction of the two since 1623.

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Anthony Fauci assures Bill Gates the coronavirus crisis ‘is going to end’ – CNET

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Bill Gates and Rashida Jones interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci on their new podcast.

GatesNotes.com
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Slogging through the daily challenges of living in a world gripped by COVID-19, it can be hard to imagine an end to the coronavirus crisis. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, assured Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates Monday that the world will get there. Gates and actor and activist Rashida Jones interviewed Fauci on the first episode of their new podcast, Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions

Jones began the pair's podcast by admitting she's worried about the future, and Gates immediately responded with, "I actually think things will be all right." He went on to say that "the likelihood of many of these vaccines working is actually pretty high."

When Fauci joined the podcast, he reiterated that people will need to wear masks, wash hands frequently and social distance to get safely through the upcoming winter, and he discussed the challenges of successfully distributing a two-dose vaccine. But he ended on a positive note.

"I want to tell people, don't give up," Fauci said. "This is going to end. Science is going to help us with a vaccine and therapy, and if we pay attention to the public health measures, we can gain control of it. The thing you don't want to happen is that people said, 'I've done this so long. I'm tired of it. The heck with it. I'm just going to go out there and do what I want to do.'"

In other podcast highlights, Gates joked with Jones that one of the first things he wants to do after the pandemic is to hug singer Bono, saying, "We do a lot of our foundation work with Bono and he's always very affectionate and energetic."

Gates also compared anti-mask wearers to nudists.

"The idea that somebody's resisting wearing a mask, that is such a weird thing to me," he said. "I mean what are these, like, nudists? I mean, you know, what, we ask you to wear pants. And, you know, no American says, or very few Americans say that that's like some terrible thing."

You can listen to the entire podcast or read the transcript at GatesNotes.com.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The Crown season 4: What it gets right (and wrong) about Princess Diana – CNET

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The tiara is too spread out, but this replica of Princess Diana's wedding gown is amazingly well done.

Netflix

For obsessive followers of British royalty, like me, Netflix royal drama The Crown is a royal joy. The series doesn't get everything right, but it usually comes close. It's easy to see creator Peter Morgan and his crew have done their research with all the energy of Sarah Ferguson cheering on rocker Meat Loaf at the It's a Royal Knockout tournament back in 1987.

Accuracy has been a hallmark of the show all along, but the creators knew the spotlight would be more intense than ever on the fourth season, streaming now. Not only does 1980s British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (played by X-Files star Gillian Anderson) have a major role, but the show had to cast and then dress and style an actress to look like perhaps the most famous woman of the 20th century: Diana, Princess of Wales. Get it wrong, and this high-class show risks looking like a hastily made Hallmark movie

Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, smile to the crowd in Jakarta  during an official visit to Indonesia in November 1989. 

Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

UK Culture Minister Oliver Dowden, concerned that some of the show's scenes could damage the Royal Family, called on Netflix over the weekend to warn viewers at the beginning of each episode that the show isn't "fact." "Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact," he said. But there are some undeniable accuracies royal watchers will appreciate. 

Actress Emma Corrin could never look perfectly like Diana up close -- that famous face is too familiar -- but from a distance, she resembles her more than most actresses who've tried. Diana's pre-wedding car is right, a small red hatchback. The paparazzi flooding around her as she tries to go to and from her Earl's Court apartment are right. 

Her ironic "bluebird of happiness" engagement suit is perfect, as is Charles' blunder of "whatever 'in love' means" when quizzed by a journalist. They use baby Prince William's real nickname of "The Basher." Even Diana's bubbly, teenlike handwriting gets it right.

That said, half the fun of a series based on real life is poring over it to see where it nails the details and where things go awry. 

Warning: Small spoilers ahead for season 4 of The Crown.

Meet cute, but not that cute

In the series, Prince Charles is dating Diana's sister, Sarah, before he gets together with Diana, which is really how it happened. But the show sets it up so that while waiting one day for Sarah, Charles runs into 16-year-old Diana while she's costumed as a "mad tree" for a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That scene feels pure Hollywood. While the two probably did meet when Sarah and Charles were dating, Diana probably wasn't wrapped in leaves, bragging about her love for the play.

Sympathy for the prince

In the series, Diana runs into Charles while he's stopped in traffic in his convertible, and simply walks up (no bodyguards in sight!) to tell him how sorry she is about the murder of Lord Mountbatten, Charles' mentor and father figure. It's part of Diana legend that she did sympathize with him over Mountbatten's death, but Diana herself reported that it happened at the home of mutual friends in Sussex, England. According to Tatler, she also said, "He leapt upon me and started kissing me and I thought, 'Urgh, this is not what people do.'" 

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Diana and Charles definitely bonded when she sympathized with him over the death of his father figure, Lord Mountbatten, even if it didn't happen while Charles was stuck in traffic.

Netflix

Dear deer me

It also seems unlikely Diana cozied up to Prince Philip at Balmoral and they shot a stag together, as depicted in the season's second episode. Although reports are Diana did present herself as a more outdoorsy, horsey sort than she turned out to be, she probably wasn't this good of an actress, proclaiming "the muckier the better" and "I'm a country girl at heart." 

But this does convince her future father-in-law she's the right woman for the heir to the throne, so the scene works. And the pink sweater that actress Emma Corrin is wearing when she leaves Charles is an exact replica of a famed one from Diana's early years. The costumer re-creates famed outfits repeatedly, and for those who know Diana's closet as well as their own, it's rewarding and fun.

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Was Diana dressed as a "mad tree" the first time she met Charles?

Netflix

Ring me up

Diana is seen choosing her famed sapphire engagement ring, which was indeed not custom made, but in the catalog of crown jeweler Garrard. That fact is supposed to be somewhat shocking, because any commoner with enough money could wear the same model of ring. (But if that was scandalous, why did Charles even offer catalog rings as a choice? As an American, I'll never get that.) Anyway, it is true Diana reportedly thought the ring looked like that of her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, and also true some say it was because it had the biggest stone. Prince William gave the ring to the Duchess of Cambridge when he proposed to her, and modern photos of the duchess make it easy to see how huge it is.

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Princess Diana's gigantic sapphire engagement ring is almost as famous as her wedding gown, so it's fitting that The Crown shows her selecting it.

Netflix

They see me rolling

Did Diana really roller skate through the royal hallways while listening to Duran Duran on her Walkman? Corrin tells Tatler she thinks so, but I'm kinda doubting it. Update: After the show aired, the show's head of research and a producer told Vogue the roller skating was true, and that Diana also bicycled through the palace. But none of them cited sources, so I still wonder.

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Whether Diana really roller-skated through royal halls, she definitely wore this outfit.

Netflix

Ironic eats

Apparently, some time before the wedding Diana and Camilla did really dine together at a Knightsbridge restaurant called Ménage à Trois. That name seems a little too on the nose, no? But it was a real place, and according to The Daily Mail, its menu indeed was designed specifically to appeal to women diners, offering no main courses (because, um, women don't like those?), just appetizers and desserts.

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Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana really did dine at a restaurant called Ménage à Trois. Oof, the irony.

Netflix

Here comes the bride

Perhaps no wedding gown is as famous as Diana's 1981 enormous marshmallow of a dress. The show didn't set out to copy it completely, costume designer Amy Roberts told WWD, but the lace, the bows, the weirdly flat front, the gonzo train -- those all match up with most people's memories. The veil doesn't look fitted around her face, though, and another mistake seems more glaring. 

Diana wore her own family's Spencer tiara, so legendary you can now buy replicas of it. But the tiara made for The Crown lacks the elegant simplicity of the Spencer tiara. Instead it's enormous and sprawling, more like a cardboard Burger King crown. No big deal, perhaps, to many viewers, but to royal-watchers, it's like watching a movie about the New York Yankees in which the famed "NY" symbol appears in Comic Sans.

Dance, ballerina, dance

Diana famously loved dancing, and it is true that in 1985 she pulled off a surprise for Charles, dancing on stage to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl at London's Royal Opera House. The Crown nails this one -- Diana's slinky white dress looks just like the one she wore, and the dancer she's paired with strongly resembles ballet star Wayne Sleep, her partner for the performance. Just as in the episode, Charles reportedly wasn't impressed and thought his wife was showing off. Further proof, perhaps, that ballet-loving Di had to always be on her toes with her husband.

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Diana wears this gown to the Royal Opera House, but slips out and changes into a slinky white number to perform a surprise dance onstage to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl.

Netflix

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Bill Gates and Rashida Jones have a new podcast – CNET

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Gates and Jones are teaming up for a podcast.

GatesNotes.com

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is starting a limited-series podcast with filmmaker, actress and activist Rashida Jones. The show, Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions, is scheduled to premiere Monday, Nov. 16, and Dr. Anthony Fauci will be the first guest.

"Ever since the pandemic started, we've heard the same refrain: We need to get back to normal," a promotional site for the first episode reads. "But what does 'normal' even mean after such a history-changing event? Bill and Rashida discuss how COVID-19 will forever change our workplaces, our schools, and even our social lives. They also get real with (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) director Dr. Anthony Fauci about what we can expect in the months ahead."

Gates said in a tweet Thursday that the hosts would "talk about some of the biggest issues facing our world with special guests including authors, experts and friends." And a trailer shared on social media shows the two quizzing each other as well. Jones asks Gates if he really thinks life will be better in 20 years, and the billionaire philanthropist says yes.

Jones, the daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton, co-directed and co-produced a Grammy Award-winning 2018 documentary, Quincy, about her father. And Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975, and is co-chairman and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Norwegian archeologists using radar discover buried Viking ship – CNET

Norwegian archaeologists have discovered a Viking burial site, complete with a long-buried, 62-foot-long Viking ship. The find was revealed in a study published Wednesday in the journal Antiquity. The site is located in Gjellestad, which is home to the Jell Mound, one of the largest Iron Age burial mounds in Scandinavia. In addition to the previously unknown Viking ship burial, the area may include a feast hall, farmhouse and some kind of religious structure.

The scientist didn't have to dig up the site; instead, they used ground-penetrating radar to map the underground features.

"The site seems to have belonged to the very top echelon of the Iron Age elite of the area, and would have been a focal point for the exertion of political and social control of the region," Lars Gustavsen, lead study author, said in a press release.

Researchers say the site has its origins in an ordinary mound cemetery, which was later transformed into a high-status cemetery represented by monumental burial mounds, hall buildings and the ship burial. The archaeologists classified the site as "high-status" after finding objects including a gold pendant. A tweet from the journal notes that similar pendants were common in burials from AD 1-400.

"Test excavations have been conducted and a full excavation of the ship burial is underway," the journal said in another tweet. "This is the first time a Viking ship burial has been excavated in almost 100 years, offering a chance to do it with modern scientific techniques."

Buried about 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) underground, the boat is about 62 feet (18.8 meters) long.

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