Archaeologists have discovered an ancient road and route along which Saxon troops retreated in 1066 when they were defeated by a Viking army in the Battle of Fulford. The finding has provided new insights into the famous battle.
Culture24 reports that experts from the Battle of Fulford Project made the discovery of a section of clay meeting a peat-filled ditch while investigating the site of the Battle of Fulford near York in England. The aim of the project is to piece together the full story behind the battle site in Fulford, which has caused much debate between historians.
According to Chas Jones, leader of the project, the section of road uncovered was the main route heading south from York that the English army retreated along when they were outflanked by the Vikings. Numerous relics were also uncovered including pieces of iron and bits of bone.
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The view towards Fulford Hall in the village on the outskirts of York. (Paul Glazzard / geograph.org.uk (CC license))The Battle of Fulford was fought between King Harald III of Norway, also known as Harald Hardrada ("hard ruler"), and the Northern Earls Edwin of Mercia and Morcar of Northumbria, who were loyal to Harold Godwinson, the usurper to the throne following the death of Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor. Harald Hardrada, like William of Normandy, and King Harold Godwinson, was another claimant to the throne.
Harald was also supported by his English ally Tostig Godwinson, the exiled brother of Harold Godwinson. Tostig made a pact with Harald and agreed to support his invasion of English.
Norse leader Harald Hardrada led his troops to victory. (Wikimedia Commons)Hardrada and Tostig sailed along the River Ouse towards the city of York in September 1066. The Norse Vikings, along with their English ally, were met by the Saxons on 20 September. While there were heavy casualties on both sides, the battle was a decisive victory for the Vikings.
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By April Holloway