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Arrow theory to be tested as archaeologists seek body of King Harold II

The section of the Bayeux that records King Harold II's death Photo:

History could be rewritten as a team of archaeologists seek to locate the body of King Harold II and test the widely-held view that he died from an arrow to the eye.

Schoolchildren across the land are taught that the Anglo-Saxon was killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066 by Norman knights. The moment famous section of the Bayeux Tapestry records this pivotal moment.

But amateur historian Peter Burke believes this could all amount to Norman propaganda, and that Harold may have lived on into his 80s.

ITV News reporter Martha Fairlie reports:

The same team of archaeologists who discovered the remains of King Richard III under a Leicester car park will be using ground-penetrating radar in a bid to locate Harold on Tuesday.

They hope to find his remains in the grounds of Waltham Abbey Church in Essex, and to prove the cause of death once and for all.

I believe we will find the body of man old man in his 80s. Six foot one. With some scarring to his temple and his face.

– peter burke, amateur historian

The search, which coincides with the 948th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, will be filmed for a documentary about the rival theory of Harold's death.

If the scan does uncover evidence that the late king could lie there, it may still be some time before permission is granted for a full excavation.