The king of Stonehenge; Were ancient artefacts the first crown jewels?
He was a giant of a man, a chieftain who ruled with a royal sceptre and a warrior's axe.
When they laid him to rest they dressed him in his finest regalia and placed his weapons at his side. Then they turned his face towards the setting sun and sealed him in a burial mound that would keep him safe for the next 4,000 years.
In his grave were some of the most exquisitely fashioned artefacts of the Bronze Age, intricately crafted to honour the status of a figure who bore them in life in death.
For this may have been the last resting place of the King of Stonehenge - and the treasures that are effectively Britain's first Crown Jewels.
Now the entire hoard, recovered from the richest and most important Bronze Age grave on Salisbury Plain, is set to go on permanent display.
But 21st-century Britain has thrown up a problem that never troubled ancient man. The artefacts are so rare that they have been kept in a bank vault for the past three decades because they are too precious to put on show without extensive security.
So today the Wiltshire Heritage Museum at Devizes is announcing a £500,000 appeal to fund a secure gallery. It will allow the treasures to be displayed alongside some of the many other wonders of Stonehenge, giving a fascinating glimpse of what life was like some 1,800 years BC. .....
Posted by moss
12th May 2009ce