Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A 3,500 year old boy found at Stonehenge.

The boy with the amber necklace: Bronze Age teenager buried at Stonehenge had travelled to visit site from the Mediterranean

Last updated at 5:49 PM on 28th September 2010
Every year, one million visitors flock to Stonehenge from around the world to gaze in wonder at its towering stones.
Now scientists say that the prehistoric monument was also attracting tourists from overseas thousands of years ago.
Today they revealed that a Bronze Age teenage boy buried at the stone circle around 1550BC was born and brought up in the Mediterranean.
The boy - aged 14 or 15 - had travelled to Britain from Spain, Italy, Greece or France, crossing the English Channel in a primitive wooden boat, they say.
However it remains unclear whether the boy was on a pilgrimage to Stonehenge or had moved to Britain permanently.
The boy's skeleton was discovered in 2002.
The boy's skeleton was discovered in 2002 at Stonehenge. Today scientists revealed that he must have been born and brought up in the Mediterranean
He was placed in a simple grave alongside an amber necklace just a mile from the stone circle.
The Boy in the Amber Necklace is the third foreigner discovered at the World Heritage site in the last few years. The finds raise the intriguing possibility that Stonehenge was attracting tourists and pilgrims thousands of years ago.
Archaeologists have previously showed that the Amesbury Archer - a man buried  with a treasure trove of copper and gold and discovered in 2002 - was born in the Alps.
They also believe that the Boscombe Bowmen - a group of seven men, women and children found the following year - originated from Wales, the Lake District or Brittany.
Prof Jane Evans, who traces the birthplace of Bronze Age skeletons from a chemical analysis of teeth,  believes the visitors were travelling to Britain to see awe-inspiring temple at Stonehenge.
'If you went to Westminster Abbey today and looked at the people buried there, how many are Londoners? I don't think many because the great ,the good and famous are buried at Westminster Abbey,' said Prof Evans of British Geological Survey
'Stonehenge in a similar way is obviously a very important place and people from all sorts of origins came to Stonehenge and were buried there.'
The boy's virtually intact skeleton was discovered at Boscombe Down, a mile from Stonehenge, by Wessex Archaeology during a housing development.

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