A mass grave containing the remains of seven skeletons; three adult males, a teenage male and three children, all buried in a normal sized grave. One man died between the ages of 30-45, and had a healed broken leg. Buried close to his head were the remains of three children, one of whom had been cremated. One child was aged between 2-4 years, another was aged between 5-6 and the third was aged between 6-7 years at death, and would seem to have been inserted into the grave at a slightly later date. The remains of the teenager (aged between 15 and 18) and the two men (aged between the ages of 25-30) had been rearranged. Some bones had been placed around the corpse of the older man. The skulls of the younger men and the teenager were very similar in shape and it seems likely that the males were all related. Alongside the burials were 8 Beaker pots, seven of which were decorated all over, six with cord, one with plaited cord. The eighth pot was fragmentary. There are 5 barbed and tanged arrowheads, flint scrapers and flakes, plus a boar's tusk. A rare bone toggle with a delicate central suspension loop was found in the grave.
The enamel on the Boscombe Bowmen's teeth indicates that they may have come from Wales.
Source - Wiltshire Sites and Monuments Record Number SU14SE171
The Boscombe Bowmen is the name given by archaeologists to a group of early Bronze Age individuals found in a shared burial at Boscombe Down near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.
The grave contained a total of seven burials: three children, a teenager and three men. Analysis of the skulls suggests that the men and the teenager were related to each other. The eldest man was buried in a crouched position with the bones of the others scattered around him and their skulls resting at his feet. They became known as the Bowmen because several flint arrowheads were placed in the grave. Other grave goods included a boar's tusk, a bone toggle, flint tools, and eight Beaker vessels, an unusually high number.
Lead isotope analysis of the men's teeth has indicated that they grew up in the areas either of modern Wales or in the Lake District, but left in childhood. This was thought to be contemporary with the major building work of erecting the Sarsen Circle and the trilithons at Stonehenge but new research indicates that these burials occurred shortly after Stonehenge Phase 3ii.
The Bowmen were found in 2003 during roadworks being carried out on behalf of the military contractor that operates the Boscombe Down airfield. The burials are thought to date from around 2300BC, making them broadly contemporary with the Amesbury Archer who was found nearby.