Archaeologists have carried out a three-week dig at Tintagel Castle in a bid to understand more about its mythical past.
Tintagel Castle is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, the legendary leader of Britain who fought against invading Anglo-Saxons in the 5th and 6th centuries AD.
While the castle that stands today is medieval, some experts believe that Tintagel was originally a fortress belonging to the Kings of Dumonia between the 5th and 7th centuries AD.
If King Arthur did exist, it would have been during this post-Roman period, although there is some uncertainty as to where he would have been based.
This summer’s dig, which is part of a five-year programme, will focus on two previously unexcavated sites. It is the first major project at Tintagel for 20 years.
Archaeologists plan to collect samples of soil, carbon, ceramics and bone to be sent to the laboratory for testing.
With cutting-edge scientific techniques, it is hoped that more can be learnt about Tintagel’s Post-Roman past and the people who lived there.
Win Scutt, English Heritage’s properties curator for the West, said: “The three-week dig this summer is the first step in a five-year programme to try to answer some key questions about Tintagel and Cornwall’s past.”
“We’ll be testing the dig sites to plan more advanced excavations next year, getting a much clearer picture of the footprint of early medieval buildings on the island, and gathering samples for analysis.”
“It’s when these samples are studied in the laboratory that the fun really starts and we’ll begin to unearth Tintagel’s secrets.”
The team has already discovered some exciting finds, including a probable Dark Age palace that enjoyed luxuries such as wine and oil.
Tintagel Castle is just along the coast from Port Isaac and can be seen from the Beach House conservatory. If you are staying with us then Tintagel Castle is worth visit – you can drive, get the bus or even walk!
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