Archaeologists have unearthed a Bronze Age skeleton on the site of a prehistoric earthwork close to the Stonehenge stone circles.
The 4,000 year old skeleton is thought to be the body of a teenager from the surrounding area. It was found in the foetal position wearing an amber necklace. The 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) tall skeleton was discovered during excavations of Wilsford henge, in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire.
The ancient circular earthworks in the Vale of Pewsey are thought to be part of a Bronze Age burial site.
The Daily Mail reports:
Archaeologists have spent the past six weeks excavating the site and another nearby prehistoric monument Marden henge, which is the largest henge in the country.
Dr Jim Leary, an archaeologist at the University of Reading, described the skeleton as a ‘wonderful discovery’.
He said: ‘Finds from the first five weeks of the dig were exciting – but as so often during excavations the best is revealed last.
‘The skeleton is a wonderful discovery which will help tell us what life was like for those who lived under the shadow of Stonehenge at a time of frenzied activity.
‘Scientific analysis will provide information on the gender of the child, diet, pathologies and date of burial. It may also shed light on where this young individual had lived.’
The skeleton’s legs were drawn up, arms crossed and head turned to the right in its grave.
Archaeologists now hope to conduct further research on the remains to determine how old the person they belonged was and their gender.
It is thought, however, that they belong to an adolescent.
The site is part of a three-year dig in the Vale of Pewsey which is aimed at understanding more about the people who lived in the areas around Stonehenge.
Flint arrowheads, blades, decorated pottery, shale and copper bracelets and a Roman brooch, are among the artefacts that have been found.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive, said the site was 10 times the size of Stonehenge.
He said: ‘Halfway between the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Sites, comparatively little is known about this fascinating and ancient landscape.
‘The work will help Historic England focus on identifying sites for protection and improved management, as well as adding a new dimension to our understanding of this important archaeological environment.’
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