Check out Las Vegas SUN: Archaeologists Unearth Stonehenge Bodies
- <A HREF="http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2003/may/21/052109607.html">Click here: Las Vegas SUN: Archaeologists Unearth Stonehenge Bodies</A> May 21,
Archaeologists Unearth Stonehenge Bodies
By SUE LEEMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON (AP) - Archaeologists who last year unearthed the remains of a Bronze
Age archer at Stonehenge said Wednesday they have found six more bodies near
the mysterious ring of ancient monoliths.
The remains of four adults and two children were found about half a mile from
that of the archer, dubbed "The King of Stonehenge" by Britain's tabloid
press. Archaeologists said he came from Switzerland and may have been involved in
building the monument.
Radiocarbon tests will be done to find out more precise dates for the burials
but the group is believed to have lived around 2300 B.C., during the building
of Stonehenge at Amesbury, 75 miles southwest of London, said Wessex
Archaeology, which excavated the site.
The latest bones discovered are about the same age of those of the archer,
said Wessex Archaeology.
"This new find is really unusual. It is exceptionally rare to find the
remains of so many people in one grave like this in southern England," said Andrew
Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology.
"The grave is fascinating because we are seeing the moment when Britain was
moving from the Stone Age into the Bronze Age, around 2300 B.C."
Wessex Archaeology said it is possible the bones are those of people from
different generations, as the grave seems to have been reopened to allow further
The grave contained four pots belonging to the Beaker Culture that flourished
in the Swiss Alps during the Bronze Age, some flint tools, one flint
arrowhead and a bone toggle for fastening clothing, Wessex Archaeology said.
The large number of bodies placed in this grave is something more commonly
found in the Stone Age, but the Beaker style pottery is characteristic of Bronze
The archer was identified by the flint arrowheads found by his body.
Archaeologists said some 100 artifacts found in his exceptionally rich grave,
discovered about three miles from Stonehenge, indicate he was a man of stature and
likely involved in constructing the monument.
Although the indigenous British originally came from mainland Europe, they
settled thousands of years before the arrival of the archer, who clearly
belonged to a different culture, marked by a new style of pottery, the use of barbed
flat arrow heads, copper knives and small gold ornaments.
His grave contained teeth and bones as well as two gold hair tresses, three
copper knives, flint arrowheads, wrist guards and pottery. The copper knives
came from Spain and France. The gold dated to as early as 2470 B.C., the
earliest dated gold objects found in Britain.
On the Net: Wessex Archaeology, <A HREF="http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/projects/amesbury/archer">
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]