The Archaeology of English Battlefields: Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Landscape

The Archaeology of English Battlefields: Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Landscape

Paperback CBA Research Report

By (author) Glenn Foard, By (author) Richard Morris

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  • Publisher: Council for British Archaeology
  • Format: Paperback | 198 pages
  • Dimensions: 208mm x 296mm x 14mm | 798g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2012
  • Publication City/Country: York
  • ISBN 10: 1902771885
  • ISBN 13: 9781902771885
  • Illustrations note: col illus
  • Sales rank: 596,682

Product description

Warfare looms large in the history of every nation - every country has its Battle of Hastings or Waterloo - yet it is surprisingly difficult to identify battle sites in the landscape. Battlefield archaeology is one of the newest areas of archaeological investigation, originating in work at the Little Bighorn (USA) in 1984. Here we see the results of using these methods in the UK, including at iconic sites such as Bosworth and Towton. The Archaeology of English Battlefields presents the results of the first national assessment of English battlefields. The primary written sources are complemented by the results of extensive fieldwork, computer-based terrain reconstruction, and scientific analysis of artefacts recovered from battlefields, allowing the sites of several notable battles to be located firmly for the first time. Battlefield archaeology rests heavily on the recording of metal artefact scatters across the landscape, and the book explores the most effective way of recovering this material. The authors' proposed methodology for investigating battlefield locations is validated by the recent identification of the precise location of the Battle of Bosworth, some 3km from the traditional site. Experiments on ordnance recovered from battlefields are enhancing our understanding of the development of gunpowder weapons. The evidence for battles from prehistory to the mid fifteenth century is summarised and is followed by detailed descriptions of battles from the Wars of the Roses, as well as notable conflicts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book concludes with some suggestions for the future management of these important sites.

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Author information

Glenn Foard is Reader in Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Huddersfield; he has carried out extensive research on battles and sieges of the medieval and early modern period. He is archaeological adviser to the Battlefields Trust and a member of the English Heritage Battlefields' Panel. Richard Morris OBE