'Mystery Warrior: The North Bersted Man' will open on 25 January 2020.This will be the first time that this extraordinary Iron Age Warrior and his burial possessions will be on public display.





Thanks to generous funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the exhibition will be complemented by a series of free activities and events running from 25 January to the end of September, including:

  • Mystery Warrior Family Days — interactive sessions about life in the Iron Age on the last Saturday of the month.
  • Mystery Warrior Lecture Series — with renowned experts, including Dr Julia Farley from the British Museum, Dr Melanie Giles from Manchester University, Prof. Andrew Fitzpatrick from the University of Leicester, staff  from Butser Ancient Farm, a world-renowned experimental archaeology site, and Dr. Paola Ponce from the University of York.
  • Mystery Warrior Community Days —activity days at the Community Centre in Bersted Park, where the Mystery Warrior was discovered.

A range of exclusive merchandise is also being developed with three local artists. Each artist is creating a range of beautifully crafted objects inspired by the Mystery Warrior. These will be on sale in The Novium Museum gift shop throughout the run of the exhibition.

The 'Mystery Warrior' was discovered 12 years ago in Berkeley Homes' Bersted Park development, in the most elaborately equipped warrior grave ever found in England. It has been dated to around 50BC, in the late Iron Age. Due to its significance, a team of world-class experts has been working with The Novium Museum to analyse and interpret the finds.

The exhibition — which has been made possible thanks to the generous donation of the finds by Berkeley Homes, a £50,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and signature sponsorship from Irwin Mitchell — will explore the life, health and death of this fascinating man. It will attempt to explain some of the questions that have been raised by the circumstances of his burial. It will illuminate a critical point in Britain's history — the years immediately preceding the Roman invasion, when the south coast was at the heart of the great events that ultimately shaped Britain as a nation.

"It's a very exciting time as we draw closer to the launch of the exhibition and we get ready to finally reveal the Mystery Warrior's fascinating story," says Cllr Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council.

"I'm pleased to say that we have extended the running time of the exhibition until 26 September 2020, so that as many people as possible can view these unique finds and enjoy this incredible exhibition.

"People can also experience life in the Iron Age through our programme of Mystery Warrior inspired events, family activities and a lecture series, all designed to complement the exhibition.

"We are even developing some beautiful contemporary craft with artists from the Chichester area, offering visitors the opportunity to take home something very special by which to remember the Mystery Warrior."

Paula James, Regional Managing Partner of Irwin Mitchell's Chichester office, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the signature sponsor for this incredible new exhibition about the Mystery Warrior, which is undoubtedly one of the most significant archaeological finds in many years.

"Having previously supported the Novium Museum with its 2017 Tim Peake exhibition, this latest partnership reinforces our commitment to supporting local businesses and investing in Chichester's future. We hope the Mystery Warrior will bring new visitors from near and far to see the exhibition and that they will enjoy visiting our splendid and historic city."

Stuart McLeod, Area Director London & South from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: 'The life of the Mystery Warrior and the stories he can tell of Iron Age Britain have now been revealed thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players. This is a part of our heritage that not only has international significance but is also one that the community in which he was found can finally get to the heart of and learn more about his life and journey. We're delighted and excited to support this incredible project.'

Daniel Cooper, Managing Director of Berkley Homes, said: "We are delighted to have donated this historic find to The Novium Museum in order to ensure that the assemblage remains in its local collecting area. It is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries to have been made at one of our sites, and will help connect residents of Bersted Park to the internationally significant heritage of the site."

The exhibition opens on the 25 January at The Novium Museum in Tower Street, Chichester.

Date of release: 2 January 2020

Reference: 3946