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Stonehenge and its Environs


Amesbury Archer was Swiss?!

Stonehenge 'King' Came from Central Europe

LONDON (Reuters) - The construction of one of Britain's most famous ancient landmarks, the towering megaliths at Stonehenge in southern England, might have been supervised by the Swiss, or maybe even the Germans. Archaeologists studying the remains of a wealthy archer found in a 4,000-year-old grave exhumed near Stonehenge last year said Monday he was originally from the Alps region, probably modern-day Switzerland, Austria or Germany.
"He would have been a very important person in the Stonehenge area and it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad -- probably modern-day Switzerland -- could have played an important part in the construction of the site," said archaeologist Andrew Fitzpatrick in a statement.

The so-called "Amesbury Archer" was found in a grave about three miles from the landmark, buried with 100 items, including gold earrings, copper knives and pottery. Researchers hailed the find -- dating from about 2,300 B.C. and the oldest known grave in Britain -- as one of the richest early Bronze Age sites in Europe. He was dubbed "The King of Stonehenge" because of the lavish items found in his grave, including some of the earliest gold objects ever found in Britain.

It was tests on the enamel of his teeth that revealed he was born and grew up in the Alps region. "Different ratios of oxygen isotopes form on teeth in different parts of the world and the ratio found on these teeth prove they were from somebody from the Alps region," said Tony Trueman from Wessex Archaeology. "It is important proof that culture imported from the continent helped bring Britain out of the Stone Age," he told Reuters.

(see Phil's post below for the original discovery of the Archer)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th February 2003ce
Edited 10th February 2006ce

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