The Battle of Hastings

Archaeologists believe they have found first ever skeleton of Battle of Hastings warrior

(Read the article on one page)

Researchers have found the skeleton of a 45-year-old man in East Sussex, not far from the famous battlefield upon which the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066, according to a report in the BBC. The skull shows six sword blows suggesting the man died in combat and the remains date back to the same period as the famous battle. The circumstances suggest the individual may have been a soldier who fought in the Battle of Hastings.  No bones have previously been discovered of anyone who fought and died during the historic event.

“The skeleton is apparently unique in that it appears to be the only individual ever recorded which could be related to the Norman invasion. A remarkable new story could be unfolding,” said Tim Sutherland, a battlefield expert from the University of York.

The Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II. It took place approximately 7 miles north-west of Hastings, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory in which King Harold II was killed, allowing William the Conqueror to take control of England. Not long after, William was acclaimed King of England and crowned on 25 December 1066, in Westminster Abbey.

William the Conqueror

William the Conqueror. Image source .

The skull forms part of a skeleton that was first dug up in 1994 during excavations in Lewes, East Sussex - around 20 miles from the famous battlefield - on the site of a medieval hospital.  Radiocarbon testing of the remains at the University of Edinburgh dated them to 28 years either side of 1063, which points it within the period of the famous battle.

The skeleton, bears the marks of battle, including six sword strikes to the skull.  Osteoarcheologist Malin Holst said: “The first injury was probably a cut to the right side of the ear and upper jaw.  This was then followed by a series of sword cuts, all delivered from the left hand side behind the victim, in a downward and horizontal motion.”

SKull found from the Battle of Hastings

The badly damaged skull of a man which could be the first-ever recorded victim of the Battle of Hastings. Credit: SWNS.com

Experts believe the individual was British because of the way he was buried.  The Norman invaders were thought to have buried their dead in a mass grave. Although no grave pits of the Normans have been found, it is believed that this is due to the high acidity of the soil, which means all the remains have long deteriorated.

“This is a fascinating discovery and a potentially very interesting piece of evidence from the second half of the 11th century. It certainly demonstrates the violence of the period,” English Heritage said in a statement. “It would be a reasonable hypothesis that this individual could have some links to the Norman Conquest, but further research is essential in understanding the potential significance of this skeleton.”

Featured image: Painting of the Battle of Hastings by Tom Lovell

By April Holloway

Comments

rbflooringinstall's picture

Awesome!

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Top image: Archaeologists looking at aerial photography found what they thought to be a hidden long barrow, or Neolithic burial chamber, hidden beneath a wheat field.
This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated one of the most extraordinary sites we have ever had the pleasure of investigating. The site is an Early Neolithic long barrow known as “Cat’s Brain” and is likely to date to around 3,800BC. It lies in the heart of the lush Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, UK, halfway between the iconic monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.

Myths & Legends

Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes
Several Native American tribes have passed down legends of a race of white giants who were wiped out. We’ll take a look at a few such legends, including those among the Choctaw and the Comanches of the United States down to the Manta of Peru.

Ancient Technology

The Norimitsu Odachi.
The Norimitsu Odachi is a huge sword from Japan. It is so large, in fact, that it was said to have been wielded by a giant. Apart from the basic knowledge of it having been forged in the 15th century AD, measuring 3.77 meters (12.37 ft.) in length, and weighing as much as 14.5 kg (31.97 lbs.), this impressive sword is shrouded in mystery.

Ancient Places

A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article