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Archaeologists hope dig brings proof of Battle of Towton death toll

posted 27 Mar 2011, 09:46 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 15:24 ]
From The Press 24th March 2011

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are hoping to unearth proof of the death toll at a North Yorkshire 15th century battle.

Tim Sutherland, a battlefield archaeologist at the University of York, said it was hoped a new dig planned to mark the 550th anniversary Battle of Towton would uncover fresh evidence of whether 28,000 men were killed in a single day.

The clash, which took place a few miles south-west of Tadcaster on March 29, 1461, is considered the most important battle of the War of the Roses, because of the scale of the bloodshed, mainly suffered by the Lancastrians, as they were defeated by the Yorkists.

But he said the death toll was disputed by many historians and could have been propaganda after the battle put King Edward IV on the throne.

Mr Sutherland said they hoped to find out if the often-used figure of 28,000 deaths was inconceivable or plausible. He said: “I think there’s going to be a few thousand, but I could be completely wrong and there could be massive pits.

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