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Case Shot: An Interim Report On Experimental Firing And Analysis To Interpret Early Modern Battlefield Assemblages

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Chapter Summary

Between August 2004 and March 2007, the Battlefields Trust undertook a survey of the Edgehill battlefield (23 October 1642, Warwickshire), the first great battle of the Civil War in England. During systematic metal detecting across 5 km, the team recovered more than 3,000 artefacts of all periods, including more than 1,000 lead bullets exhibiting a variety of calibre, shape, surface modifications and distortion. Most were round ball for musket, carbine or pistol, about 3% were slugs, but around 10% have a distinctive polygonal or faceted form and were tentatively interpreted as case shot from artillery. This chapter reports on the first stage of a programme of ongoing experimental research to reproduce the firing of artillery case shot of the 17th century, to recover the distribution of the bullets fired, and to analyse their character, to assist in interpretation of case shot distributions from surveys of 17th century battlefields.

Keywords: 17th century battlefields; artillery case shot; Civil War; Edgehill battlefield; England



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