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Tests Reveal Amesbury Archer "King Of Stonehenge' Was A Settler From The Alps
Popular Science ^ | 2-8-2004

Posted on 02/08/2004 12:40:04 PM PST by blam

Tests reveal Amesbury Archer ‘King of Stonehenge’ was a settler from the Alps

The man who may have helped organise the building of Stonehenge was a settler from continental Europe, archaeologists say.

The latest tests on the Amesbury Archer, whose grave astonished archaeologists last year with the richness of its contents, show he was originally from the Alps region, probably Switzerland, Austria or Germany. The tests also show that the gold hair tresses found in the grave are the earliest gold objects found in Britain.

The grave of the Archer, who lived around 2,300BC, contained about 100 items, more than ten times as many objects as any other burial site from this time. When details were released, the media dubbed the Archer “The King of Stonehenge”.

The grave was found three miles from Stonehenge, near Amesbury in Wiltshire, last May during an excavation by Wessex Archaeology, based nearby at Salisbury, in advance of the building of a new housing scheme and school.

The Archer was obviously an important man, and because he lived at the same time that the stones at Stonehenge were first being built, archaeologists believe he may have been involved in its creation.

Tests were carried out on the Archer’s teeth and bones and on the objects found in the grave, which included two gold hair tresses, three copper knives, flint arrowheads, wristguards and pottery. They show that he came from the Alps region, and that the copper knives came from Spain and France. This is evidence of the wide trade network that existed in the early Bronze Age. The gold dated to as early as 2,470BC, the earliest gold objects found in Britain.

Stonehenge was begun in the late Stone Age, around 3,000BC, as a ditch and a bank enclosing an open space. In about 2,300BC – approximately the time the Archer died –the world-famous stones were erected, the large 20-tonne Sarsen stones from the Marlborough Downs nearby and the smaller four-tonne Bluestones from Preseli in west Wales. How the Bluestones were transported 240 miles (380 kilometres) is not yet known.

The importance of the Archer and his grave are detailed in a programme 'King of Stonehenge: A Meet the Ancestors Special' on BBC2 on Wednesday February 19 at 9pm.

Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, of Wessex Archaeology, said: “This was a time of great change in Britain – the skills of metalworking were being brought here from abroad and great monuments such as Stonehenge were being built.

“We have long suspected that it was people from the continent of Europe who initiated the trade that first brought metalworking to Britain, and the Archer is the first discovery to confirm this.

“He would have been a very important person in the Stonehenge area and it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad – probably modern day Switzerland – could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain’s most famous archaeological site.”

The Archer was an example of the spread of the Beaker culture from the continent, marked by a new style of pottery, the use of barbed flat arrow heads, copper knives and small gold ornaments.

Tests on the bones carried out by Wessex Archaeology’s own staff showed that the Archer was a man aged between 35 and 45. He was strongly built, but he had an abscess on his jaw and had suffered an accident a few years before his death that had ripped his left knee cap off. As a result of this he walked with a straight left which swung out to the side of him, and suffered from an infection in his bones which would have caused him constant pain.

Other tests on the enamel found on the Archer’s teeth could not reveal how long he had lived in Britain, only that he must have lived in the Alps region while a child. He was most probably from what is now Switzerland, although it is possible he could have come from areas of Germany near Switzerland or Austria.

Also found at the site was a second skeleton of a younger man, aged 20 to 25. Two gold hair tresses were found lodged in mud in his jaw. Bone analysis showed he and the Archer were related and it is likely they were father and son. Analysis of his teeth show he grew up in southern England but may have spent his late teens in the Midlands or north-east Scotland.

Other tests were carried out by the British Museum, the National Museums of Wales and Scotland, the British Geological Survey, the National Trust Museum at Avebury and the Universities of Durham, Exeter, Oxford and Southampton. They showed that the Archer wore animal skins fashioned into a cloak and was buried with pottery made locally, perhaps specially for his funeral.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alpa; amesbury; anthropology; archaeoastronomy; archaeology; archer; archery; dna; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; king; megaliths; mtdna; settler; stonehenge; tests

1 posted on 02/08/2004 12:40:10 PM PST by blam
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To: farmfriend
Unearthed, The Prince Of Stonehenge
2 posted on 02/08/2004 12:42:21 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Very interesting. Thanks.
3 posted on 02/08/2004 12:52:01 PM PST by Artist
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To: blam
Thanks.
4 posted on 02/08/2004 1:11:03 PM PST by elbucko
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To: RightWhale
I wonder if this impact in 2200-2300BC was the reason for this guy being in England at that time (it would have gotten real cold in the north).... and maybe also inspired those folks to build Stonehenge.

Disaster That Struck The Ancients

The tree rings worldwide indicate a catastrophic event occured in 2354BC.

5 posted on 02/08/2004 1:20:25 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Still doesn't say what the purpose of Stonehenge might have been. Were they trying to attract sunlight to GB?
6 posted on 02/08/2004 1:37:14 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: blam
Blam, you always have the coolest posts - really interesting stuff, and such a blessed relief from everything else. Thanks.
7 posted on 02/08/2004 2:16:07 PM PST by leilani
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To: leilani
"Blam, you always have the coolest posts - really interesting stuff, and such a blessed relief from everything else."

Thank you...it's a hobby of mine.

8 posted on 02/08/2004 4:24:34 PM PST by blam
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; A.J.Armitage; abner; adam_az; AdmSmith; Alas Babylon!; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

9 posted on 02/08/2004 7:38:37 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: blam
I second that comment. Your posts are fascinating, and I'm glad to be on your list.

And I have a suggestion about how those giant stones might have been moved. It is was cold enough for a permanent freeze, perhaps the builders prepared an "ise road" to slide the stones overland. Just a thought.

Cordially,

Congressman Billybob

Click here, then click the blue CFR button, to join the anti-CFR effort (or visit the "Hugh & Series, Critical & Pulled by JimRob" thread). Don't delay. Do it now.

10 posted on 02/08/2004 7:56:20 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Congressman Billybob
"...perhaps the builders prepared an "ise road" to slide the stones overland. Just a thought."

Interesting thought.

11 posted on 02/08/2004 8:04:42 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Fascinating!
Studying teeth enamel to determine where an ancient skeleton had lived throughout its life is baffling.

I imagine that after his accident, the King of Stonehenge lost his mobility and was pretty much stuck close to where it happened for the remainder of his life. No more globe-trotting for him after being crippled.
12 posted on 02/08/2004 8:05:45 PM PST by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA
"Studying teeth enamel to determine where an ancient skeleton had lived throughout its life is baffling."

Yup, They used the same technique to determine that Otzi was an Italian.

13 posted on 02/08/2004 8:10:47 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
This reminds of some other famous archers, the Tells. Not many people know that they were also avid bowlers. Unfortunately a fire destroyed league records. No one knows for whom the Tells bowled.
14 posted on 02/08/2004 8:16:22 PM PST by 185JHP ( "The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.")
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To: RightWhale; Congressman Billybob
Since stonehenge was rebuilt at least 3 times in recorded recent history, the big stones stood back up, restacked and relandscaped for the tourist trade, how do we know that the original stones were in any such order to begin with? What I am saying is that we know that this is not a miraculously preserved construction but rather a reconstruction for at least the third time and we have no guarantee that the current formation is not quite different than that originally assembled. Since the configuration is not original, how can we possibly know what the original configuration was supposed to accomplish?
15 posted on 02/08/2004 8:20:32 PM PST by Geritol (Lord willing, there will be a later...)
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To: ValerieUSA
Studying teeth enamel to determine where an ancient skeleton had lived throughout its life is baffling.

Not really. For example, it's obvious that this man is from England:

And even the most junior dentist can tell immediately that this lady is from Arkansas:

 

 

16 posted on 02/08/2004 9:58:44 PM PST by DallasMike
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To: 185JHP
Arghhhh ! :)
17 posted on 02/09/2004 2:19:58 AM PST by tlb
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To: blam
blam, I come here and look for your breaking news first!
18 posted on 02/09/2004 11:06:30 AM PST by ruoflaw
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To: ruoflaw
"blam, I come here and look for your breaking news first!"

Thanks, I enjoy the company and discussions.

19 posted on 02/09/2004 11:12:21 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Isn't this about the same time as the Otzi mummy? Same culture, no doubt.
20 posted on 02/09/2004 11:14:11 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale
"Isn't this about the same time as the Otzi mummy? Same culture, no doubt."

I believe he's about 7-800 years earlier.

21 posted on 02/09/2004 11:18:21 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
The "Beaker Culture," eh?

Another one of those "red-haired" cultures?!?

22 posted on 02/09/2004 11:18:24 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
A sub-set to the Beaker culture are the Corded Ware/Single Grave Culture

The Jomon of Japan are identified by their 'corded' pottery. Hmmm?

23 posted on 02/09/2004 11:28:36 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
The Archer was obviously an important man, and because he lived at the same time that the stones at Stonehenge were first being built

Really? Either he was God or the journalist is a bozo.

24 posted on 02/09/2004 11:39:29 AM PST by mtbopfuyn
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To: Congressman Billybob
perhaps the builders prepared an "ise road" to slide the stones overland.

Could be. Can't think of the name but somewhere over there are some white stones layed out across the fields that, to me, look very much like the old IBM computer punch cards.

25 posted on 02/09/2004 11:43:21 AM PST by mtbopfuyn
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To: blam
The author appears to be using the word "tress" incorrectly.

The definition I find is "a braid or lock of hair".
26 posted on 02/09/2004 1:23:58 PM PST by jimt
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To: 185JHP
I'm wondering if it's allowable for punsters to be beaten on the historical threads. ;-)
27 posted on 02/09/2004 2:22:15 PM PST by an amused spectator (articulating AAS' thoughts on FR since 1997)
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Just updating the GGG information, not sending a general distribution.

Please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

28 posted on 07/25/2005 10:05:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


29 posted on 06/20/2012 7:17:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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