Stonehenge mystery man
The latest issue of The Smithsonian Magazine carries the story about the Mystery Man of Stonehenge.
Who was he and where did he come from? And what was his role in the making of the great monument? The discovery of a 4,300-year-old skeleton surrounded by intriguing artifacts has archaeologists abuzz Early one Friday in May 2002, a crew from England's Wessex Archaeology discovered two graves that predated the Romans by more than 2,500 years. When the sifting and analysis was done, 100 artifacts had been retrieved—the richest Bronze Age grave ever discovered in Britain. There were two male skeletons, the most important of which was interred in a timber-lined grave on its left side, facing north. The legs were curled in a fetal position, common in Bronze Age burials. An eroded hole in the jawbone indicated that he'd had an abscess; a missing left kneecap was evidence that he'd sustained some horrific injury that'd left him with a heavy limp and an excruciating bone infection. A man between 35 and 45 years of age, he was buried with a black stone wrist guard on his forearm of the kind used to protect archers from the snap of a bowstring. Scattered across his lower body were 16 barbed flint arrowheads (the shafts to which they presumably had been attached had long since rotted away). The archaeologists started calling him the Amesbury Archer, and they assumed he had something to do with Stonehenge because the massive stone monument was just a few miles away. Because of his apparent wealth, the press soon dubbed him the "King of Stonehenge." "Most people would not have had the ability to take such wealth with them into their graves," says Mike Pitts, author of Hengeworld, who calls the find "dynamite."Full article available for download at the link. And, as always, if anyone asks, I didn't have anything to do with any bodies being buried.