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The hunt is on for the Battle of Lewes
An archaeological dig is to hunt for evidence of the Battle of Lewes.
A pilot project is set to take place this month to scour land at Landport Bottom with metal detectors to search for arrows and artefacts linked to the historic 13th century battle that transformed life in Britain.
Three trenches will be dug in the site as part of the preliminary assessment that archaeologists hope will lead to further excavations in the near future.
Community project the Battle of Lewes Project, Natural England and Sussex Archaeological Society have been working together to try to find firm evidence of the 1264 conflict.
The battle broke out after King Henry III refused to honour an agreement to give power to a council of 24 barons.
The battle saw Henry defeated, made Simon de Montfort the uncrowned King of England, led to the creation of Parliament - and took place just outside Lewes Priory, where Henry was staying.
Lewes district councillors visited the site where the work is set to take place last week.
In a report to the council, the site’s community ranger, Dan Ross, said: “The aim will be to establish direct evidence of the Battle of Lewes, by way of metalwork such as arrow heads or other battle trinkets.
“The project involves a small scale pilot study into the feasibility of a larger archaeological investigation into the Battle of Lewes.
“The project, funded by the Battle of Lewes Project, will take place over one day during July.”
Specially trained metal detectorists will carry out a systematic assessment of metal content within the soil along three 25-metre routes across the battle site.
Mr Ross said: “Vegetation will only be disturbed in very small divots which will be carefully replaced to prevent damage to the turf.”
The Battle of Lewes Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Sussex Archaeological Society, is preparing for a special celebration to mark the 750th anniversary of the battle in 2014.
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