search
Archaeology Discoveries of archaeology History based on archaeology Disciplines of archaeology Region of Studies in archaeology Archaeological related Methods Museum's Collections in Worldwide
Amesbury Archer
GreatArchaeology »Amesbury Archer

Amesbury Archer (or King of Stonehenge) is an early Bronze Age man. His finding dates to back to 2300 BC. His grave was discovered in May 2002 by the archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology, in Amesbury, WiltShire, England near the Stonehenge. His grave is of particular importance because of the rich valuables and the earliest gold objects ever found in England. Nearly 100 objects were found along with the complete skeleton of the man. It is believed that the objects buried in with his grave was for his use in his next life.

Amesbury Archer Recent research using lead isotope analysis identified the origin of the man as being Central Europe. He is believed to have been one of the earliest metalworkers in Britain. He is nicknamed the "ARCHER" or "King of Stonehenge" because a longbow was among the artifacts buried with him.

The importance of the discovery of the Amesbury archer:


  • First example of a most dominant elite
  • Could have been involved in the Erection of the Stonehenge
  • His grave contained the richest number of items
  • The gold used in his earrings or otherwise would be hair tresses dated back to 2470 BC


Importance Of discovery of Amesbury Archer in ancient archaeology

The Amesbury Archer is important for many reasons. This was a time when the first metals were brought to Britain, and the Archer was buried with two gold hair tresses which are the oldest securely dated gold still found in Britain (dated to around 2,400BC).

The Archer was important for another reason: he was buried three miles from Stonehenge at the very time when the massive stones were being brought to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire to erect the world-famous monument. The Archer is essential because he is the first example of a powerful elite who may well have organized the erection of Stonehenge.

His grave is of particular importance because of its associates with multicultural Europe and early copper smelting technology. He is trusted to have been one of the earliest metalworkers in Britain.

 



 

The Amesbury Archer goes on display

Display of amesbury archer at Salisbury Museum A permanent display for the Amesbury Archer skeleton and grave goods was built by conservators at the Conservation Service laboratory. The display is planned to represent the burial environment in which the Archer was found and replicates it as far as achievable.


A custom-built case, already in place in the Early Man Gallery at Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, houses the final grave display.


The burial consists of a box made from medium density fiberboard (MDF). This has been painted with a coating of a special protective varnish to seal the surface. An aluminum mesh has been clipped to the MDF and padded with acid free tissue behind to represent the uneven nature of the soil in the burial atmosphere. This was then covered with a fabric layer before a layer of plaster was added over the top. This surface was then painted with an acrylic emulsion to represent the grave surface.


The burial was built in two halves so that it could be easily transported to the museum and assembled. It can also be dismantled easily if necessary. The grave will form a permanent display area for the Amesbury Archer in the Early Man Gallery at Salisbury & South Wilts Museum and can be sighted daily.



The First Burial Of Amesbury Archer

First burial of Amesbury archer with artefacts explained Amesbury Archer grave had the greatest number of objects ever found in a British Bronze Age burial.

The following are the objects found in burial.

  • Three tiny copper knives, more for illustrate than for violent use.
  • 16 barbed flint arrowheads .Scattered through the grave but at a slightly higher level were 16 barbed and tangled arrowheads. The height at which the arrowheads were found hint that they were lying over the body rather than having been located on the floor of the grave.
  • A kit of flint-napping.
  • And metalworking tools, including cushion stones that purposed as a kind of moveable anvil and that recommend he was a coppersmith and some boar's tusks.
  • On his forearm was a black Stone wrist-guard. A similar red wrist-guard was by his knees. With the second wrist-guard were a shale belt ring and a pair of gold hair ornaments.

Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick quotes:
We have long suspected that it was people from the continent of Europe who initiated the trade that first brought copper and gold to Britain and the Archer is the first discovery to confirm this.



The second burial site of Amesbury Archer




Another grave was found close to the Amesbury Archers - Second burial site Another grave was found close to the Amesbury Archer's.

  • The bones were being cleaned in the laboratory, the discovery of a pair of gold hair tresses inside the man's jaw.
  • The new hair tresses were in the same style as the Archer's.
  • A study of the bones later illustrated that he and the Archer were related as they both had the same extraordinary bone structure in their feet.

Study of the two men's skeletons exposed that they shared an unusual characteristic, but one that was maybe unknown to them. Some bones at the top of their insteps that are not usually expressed are articulated. This would not have caused them any problem, but this trait is very rare. To find two individuals who share it, buried so closely to each other, strongly suggests that they were related.
Radiocarbon dates propose that the second burial is slightly later than the Archer's, but whether they were brothers, cousins, or father and son, is not known.



The Beaker from the grave of the Amesbury Archer

Amesbury Archer Beakers found at the grave The five Beaker pots from the grave are an outstanding group, both in terms of number of vessels and quality. No other burial has lots of Beaker pots as grave goods, the most common number of Beakers in a grave being one. The pair of pots in front of the Archer's face is almost alike. Both pots are ornamented with horizontal lines of ver fine plaited cord, pressed into the clay when damp. This is a remarkable form of cord decoration in both Britain and Europe.



Weapons Used By Amesbury Archer


Arrowheads sited at Fist burial site An antler spatula for working flints, another copper knife and more flints - these would have been tools, some in mint condition.
Approximately the archer's waist and legs were 15 arrowheads, signifying that a quiver of hafted arrows had been scattered over his lower body and legs, but the bow had long since rotted away.
It is likely that the items were located in the Archer's grave for his use in the next life. He had everything that a person would need to stay alive - clothing, tools, weapons, pottery and spare flints to make new tools.

Archaeologists contributing to the Amesbury archer Project
Alison Sheridan

Alison Sheridan is Head of Early Prehistory in the National ...
Mike Parker Pearson

The monument Bluehenge was discovered by Professor Mike Parker Pearson He ...
Books Related to Amesbury Archer
Death and Burial The Archaeology of Death and Burial has been written by Professor Michael Parker Pearson.
In Search of the Red Slave (the last in combination with his partner Karen Godden). He has carried out excavations in South Uist, Madagascar and at Durrington Walls as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project.
Stonehenge People

The Stonehenge people has been written by Aubrey Burl.
His most generally held academic works are The Stone Circles of the British and The Stonehenge people, each of which is held in over 1300 libraries universally.

It also provides a new interpretation of Stonehenge. Includes a greatly expanded gazetteer, and an up-to-date list of radiocarbon dates and recent excavations.

The Age of Stonehenge People

Book Name:The Age of Stonehenge book written by Colin Burgess.
Complementary lifestyles are recorded by the isotope composition of Bronze Age Beaker people (c. 2500–2000 bc) from three funeral sites or near to the Stonehenge memorial in Wiltshire, southern England. Seven individuals (three adults, a sub-adult, two juveniles and an infant) were recovered from a single grave at Boscombe Down.

Rich Resources over the web on Amesbury Archer
Wessex Archaeology is one of the largest archaeological practices in England, working across the UK to further our knowledge of our past and Amesbury Archer.
Since excavation the funeral has involved national and international interest.
oxygen isotope analysis specify that this man originally came from somewhere in the Alpine area of Europe.
A 'Beaker' era burial from a cemetery on Net Down, near Shrewton, a few miles from Stonehenge
Innovation of the remains in 2002 caused a flurry of archaeological interest. The grave, found three miles from Stonehenge, contained a rich deposit of 100 items of grave goods, with gold earrings. It was said at the occasion to have been the richest Bronze Age grave yet found in Northern Europe.
Important archaeological Discoveries
Amesbury Archer
Amesbury Archer (or King of Stonehenge) is an early Bronze Age man, dating to around 2300 BC. His grave is of particular importance because of the rich valuables and the earliest gold objects ever found in England.
Otzi the Ice mummy
Otzi the Iceman is well naturally preserved mummy of a man. The man who was been captured in Ice was believed to be over 53 centuries old (3300 BC).
Java Man
Java man is an interesting discovery to note that the find was not a complete specimen, but consisted merely of a skullcap, a femur, and three teeth. Many scientists of the day even suggested that Dubois' Java Man might have been the so-called "missing link
Kennewick Man
Kennewick Man is the name for the remains of a prehistoric man found on a bank of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, on July 28, 1996. The Kennewick Man news story is one of the most significant archaeology stories of contemporary times.
Neanderthal Man
Neandertal1 or Neanderthal was a species of genus Homo (Homo neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia during the last ice age.
Peking Man
Peking Man (sometimes now called Beijing Man), also called Sinanthropus pekinensis (currently Homo erectus pekinensis), is an example of Homo erectus.
Red lady of Paviland
The Red Lady of Paviland is a fairly complete Upper Paleolithic-era human male skeleton dyed in red ochre, discovered in 1823 by Rev. William Buckland in one of the Paviland limestone caves of the Gower Peninsula in south Wales, dating from c29,000
Tollund Man
The Tollund man lived during the late 5th century BC and/or early 4th century BC, about 2,400 years . He was buried in a peat bog on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, a find known as a bog body.
Turkana Boy
Turkana Boy, the designation given to fossil KNM-WT (Kenya National Museum-West Turkana), is a nearly complete skeleton of a 12-year-old hominid boy who died 1.6 million years ago.Turkana Boy is classified as either Homo erectus or Homo ergaster.
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of about 850 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, which were discovered in eleven caves near Qumran, in a fortress northwest of the Dead Sea in Israel.
Narmer Palette
The Narmer Palette, or Great Hierakonpolis Palette, is a significant Egyptian archeological find, dating from about 3200 BC, containing some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found, and depicting the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Narmer
Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone is a dark granite stone (often incorrectly identified as "basalt") which provided modern researchers with translations of ancient text in Egyptian demotic script, Greek, and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Linear B
Linear B is the script that was used for writing Mycenaean, an early form of the Greek language. It occurrs primarily on tablets dated from the 14th and 13th centuries BC.
Sweet track
The Sweet Track is an ancient roadway in the Somerset Levels, England. As of the early 2000s, it is the oldest known engineered roadway in the world. An grand footpath that ran for almost 2km across the Somerset levels swamps.
Tautavel Man
Tautavel Man is an ancestor of Neanderthal man, was slightly different from his contemporaries living Asia and Africa. In the village of Tautavel is located in the South of France, one of the most ancient humans was found: the Tautavel Man.
Galilee Boat
The Galilee Boat which is also referred as the "Jesus Boat" was found by local Galilean inhabitants in January 1986. The boat was wrapped in a polyurethane shell and then immersed in a special tank of water to avoid quick disintegration.
Ekron Inscription
The monumental Ekron inscription is dated, statistically and historically, to the first half of the seventh century B.C.E. The five lines of the inscription are together with this in a slit open border.
Pontius Pilate
It wasn't long back when a lot of scholars were quizzical the real survival of a Roman Governor with the name Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 close to Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) was unearthed this appealing limestone block.
Ossuary of Caiaphas
In 1990 ornately decorate limestone ossuary (bone depository) was found in Jerusalem's Peace Forest. In the ossuary were the bones of two babies, a adolescent child, a teenage boy, an adult woman, and a man about 60years of age.
Baruch Bulla
In biblical Israel, papyrus was the main form of writing substance. Once an authorized deed was written, it would be rolled up, one end crinkled in one-third of the width and the contrary end likewise folded in.
Ugarit-Pre historic city
It is the Capital city of a prehistoric principality in what these days is on the northern part of the Syrian coast, just north of the city of Latakia


Ï Latest Archaeology Updates Ï Importance and applicability Ï Famous Archaeologists Ï Museums Collections Ï Site Map
Ï World Heritage Sites Ï World History Monuments Ï Archaeological Organizations Ï World Atlas of Archaeology Ï Contact Us
Ï History themed movies Ï Frequently Asked Questions Ï Archaeological Resources Ï Archaeological discoveries Ï Archaeology Gadgets
Ï Tell a Friend Ï Archaeological Abbreviations Ï Gallery Collections Ï archaeology excavations Ï Search Engine Genie and Archaeology
Ï Forensic Investigation and Geophysics