|20 May 2013
Ancient burials uncovered in Amesbury
Archaeologists have discovered previously unknown round barrows dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age, just a few miles from Stonehenge. The finds, which also include six Pagan Saxon skeletons dating back over 1000 years, were unearthed at a development site in Amesbury - famous for the so-called "Amesbury Archer", a early Bronze Age man found buried among arrowheads.
The remains are thought to be those of adolescent to mature males and females. Five skeletons were arrayed around a small circular ditch, with the grave of a sixth skeleton in the centre. Two lots of beads, a shale bracelet and other grave goods were also found, which suggest the findings are Pagan.
The site is now being excavated by Wessex Archaeology, led by Phil Harding - known for his work on Channel 4's "Time Team" programme. Phil said: "Given that the Stonehenge area is a well-known prehistoric burial site, it was always very likely some interesting discoveries would be made here. The fact that these round barrows were previously unknown makes this particularly exciting. Finding the skeletons also helps us to get a clearer picture of the history of this area. To my knowledge these are the first Pagan Saxon burials to be excavated scientifically in Amesbury."
The archaeologists are expected to be on site for six weeks in total. Video from the dig may be included in a production for ITV's History Channel, to be aired in January 2014.
Edited from 24 dash.com (17 May 2013), Salisbury Journal (18 May 2013)
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