Washington, Nov 3 : Scientists have pinned down the British landing site of Roman emperor Julius Caesar as near the northeastwards.
When Julius Caesar arrived off the coast of Britain with his hundred-ship force in August, 55 B.C., he was greeted by a host of defenders poised to hurl spears down on his invading army from the towering Dover cliffs.
Seeking a better landing site, he sailed on a strong afternoon current and landed his troops at a beach seven miles away, according to his own account.
Caesar neglected to mention, however, whether he sailed southwest or northeast.
The only shoreline within seven miles of Dover that matches Caesar's description lies to the northeast, near present-day Deal.
That would settle it, except that the current flowed southwest from Dover on the afternoons of August 26 and 27 - four days before the full moon, as Caesar obliquely reported the landing date.
For centuries, the paradox has provoked debate among historians and astronomers.
Now, in a new research, forensic astronomer Donald W. Olson of Texas State University in San Marcos, and his team, traveled to Britain in August 2007, when astronomical conditions almost exactly duplicated those of 55 B.C.
The team confirmed that although on August 26 and 27, the afternoon current ran southwestward, on the 22nd and 23rd, it flowed strongly northeastward, toward Deal.
This indicates that Caesar first landed in Britain near the northeast.