28 September 2009
A lucky find by one of
the youngsters talking part on the festival to commemorate the 1066 battle at
Fulford has opened up a new area of research for the battlefield archaeologists.
One young visitor handed
some iron to John Chapman who recognised the piece of iron was very similar to
other finds from the battle site, some of which were on display last Sunday. The
event coincided with the 943rd anniversary of the battle which took place on 20th
“This shows what a very
important role members of the public can play in uncovering our heritage,”
commented Chas Jones who has been leading the work at Fulford for the last 10
years. “We had not actually bothered to search for material in the area where
this was found because I though the land had been too disturbed over the years.
But from the landscape reconstruction we have done to work out the exact shape
of the landscape in 1066, I can now see that this patch is very much the same it
So the Parish Council has
been approached to obtain permission for a proper search by metal detectorists.
Many places where the iron was worked have already been found along Germany
“This find fits into the
pattern of the other metal working sites which are located just behind the area
of the fighting and so far they have all been near running water. From the type
of material they were making, such as war axes and arrows, we suspect that they
were re-working with the iron debris left on the battlefield,” added Chas.
Chas appealed to all the
local people to let him see any interesting iron or stone objects that had
discovered on the fields around Fulford. Many people think at archaeologists are
only interested in silver and gold but it is rusty lumps of iron and bits of
stone that have slowly revealed the location of this bloody battlefield.
“We received one piece
from a local dog owner and it turned out to be a sharpening stone. From the type
of stone we can trace it back to the area where the Norse invaders of 1066 came
from. So it gives Fulford a link to the Vikings who drove the Northumbrian army
from the field that day.”
Because the sharpening
stone came from one medieval metal working area along Germany Beck, it provides
yet another piece of evidence to identify the site of the ‘forgotten battle of
A full report of the
decade of work that has been conducted at Fulford is due to be published early
“If people keep
discovering new pieces to fit this puzzle, I will never get the report
finished” joked Chas Jones.
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