Page last updated at 23:10 GMT, Friday, 12 September 2008 00:10 UK

Test-fire for 'Culloden cannon'

Replica cannon
It is hoped the weapon will shed light on how cannons were used at Culloden

A replica half-tonne cannon will be test-fired on Saturday to help answer questions about the Battle of Culloden.

Scientists will compare cannonballs fired from the Glasgow University-built weapon with battlefield data.

Archaeologists hope it will tell them how effective cannons were during the battle on 16 April, 1746.

Culloden was a decisive defeat for the Jacobites and ended their hopes of restoring the exiled Stuart dynasty to the throne of Britain.

Dr Tony Pollard, director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University, said: "We have recovered a variety of lead projectiles fired by cannons during the Battle of Culloden.

"These included pieces of case shot and grape shot which featured a number of markings and distortions.

"By using the recently built replica cannon to test how lead projectiles react when they impact a number of different surfaces we will be able to compare the results with the artefacts collected from the site.

"These results can then tell us how the cannons were used in the battle and, depending on what they struck, human bodies, the earth or stone, how effective they were in battle."

The replica cannon was built by Alan Birkbeck from the university's Ballistics and Impact Group.

Initial test-firing takes place on Saturday with the full range of ballistics tests planned for a later date.

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