North Bersted Warrior
The unique and highly-elaborate grave of a real Warrior Lord have been discovered on a North Bersted building site.
The Iron Age warrior, buried with his glamorous and ornate head-dress, is believed to have spent time in Gaul fighting with or against Julius Caesar's legionnaires as they swept across continental Europe in about 50BC.
The discovery, which will go on display at Chichester's Novium Museum in January 2020, as 'the most elaborately equipped warrior grave ever found in England'.
The grave was found during excavations ahead of a Berkeley Homes housing development in North Bersted in 2008, but it has taken years of conservation and scientific analysis to prepare the artefacts for display.
It is a unique find in both the British Isles and the continent that there isn’t another burial that combines this quality of weaponry and Celtic art with a date that puts it around the time of Caesar's attempted conquest of Britain.
He is either someone from eastern England who may have gone and fought with the Gauls that we know was a problem for Caesar, we were allies with the Gauls, helping them with their struggle against him.
'Or he might be a Gaul himself fleeing that conflict, possibly to lend us aid in terms of the knowledge he has about strategy, tactics, he knows Caesar is going to try to divide and rule.
'Also he brings with him his kit, extraordinary weaponry, a beautiful sword which is not like the swords we have, a new technology, style and design and helmet which is absolutely unique with these wonderful Celtic openwork crests which exaggerate his height and make him absolutely fabulous.
He brings that awe and intimidation with him, you can imagine him riding around on horseback, galvanising the local people, training, helping to put in place strategies to try and hold Rome at bay as best as possible.
Alternatively the 'mystery warrior' could have been a military leader for King Commius who allied himself to Caesar and improve his prospects.
Due to the richness of the finds within the grave, the mystery warrior held one of the most prestigious roles in the country.
'This is one of the most exceptional finds in this particular archeological period and is of international significance.'
The key find was the helmet with its unique ornate bronze openwork crest which would have 'shone like gold' and had been decorated with horse-hair plumes.
The Novium Museum will open an exhibition to the public on Saturday, 25 January 2020 and will be the first time that this extraordinary Iron Age Warrior and his burial possessions will be on public display.
The Novium Museum has programmed a range of free activities and events such as family days, lectures and community days to accompany the North Bersted Warrior Exibition.