Letter: Battlefields that must be defended

Sir: Desecration of battlefields has not become the sole prerogative of the British (leading article, 6 August). There is a row in the US over a proposal for a living-history theme park at Little Big Horn where, for a fee, the visitor can converse with a reincarnated General Custer or Sitting Bull. As for Gettysburg, the dominating steel and glass observation tower makes the semi-sunken new road at Naseby quite acceptable.

You rightly draw attention to modern archaeological techniques. As the only non-American to participate in archaeological surveys at the Little Big Horn and Big Hole battlefields, I can vouch for the efficiency of the much-despised metal detectors, combined with modern forensic science, in helping to solve the historical puzzles associated with these battles.

Yours faithfully,

DEREK BATTEN

Paulerspury, Northamptonshire

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