AN EXCAVATION at Fulford, which precedes the 950th anniversary of the 1066 battle, is turning into the "best imaginable" dig, says archaeologist Chas Jones.

He said the dig on the Germany Beck site had led to further finds of tools which were he believed to have been used by medieval armourers to repair dents in helmets and shield-bosses.

He said ‘indisputable dating’ of the conflict - the first of three battles which culminated in the more famous Battle of Hastings - was now even closer.

The annual dig started earlier this month as part of the Council for British Archaeology’s festival of archaeology .

Mr Jones, who has led a long campaign to prevent a 650-home development in the area, said the dig got off to a great start with several further finds of the tools.

“Technically we now have a hoard as we have added two and possibly three new tools to our collection bringing our total to five or six,” he said. "As far as I know, this is a unique collection - another ‘first’ for Fulford.”

He said the detailed investigation of layers was allowing him to understand the landscape of the battle and expose the surface on which it was fought.

“Thanks to the amazing hard work of the team - and there are no words to praise them for the quality and quantity of the work they have already done - we are just about to set to work on this 1066 layer and the metal detectorists are already telling us that there is plenty to find.”

Mr Jones has said previously that after the dig finishes at the end of this month, there will be free public access to the archaeology from 11am to 4pm daily throughout August.