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23 September 2015
Bronze Age child skeleton unearthed in Wiltshire

A 4,000-year-old Bronze Age skeleton, believed to be that of an adolescent child, has been unearthed by archaeologists in Wiltshire (England). The discovery was made by archaeologists from the University of Reading, who are excavating Wilsford henge in the Vale of Pewsey. The body, around 1.5m long, was found in a foetal position and was wearing an amber necklace.
     The Vale of Pewsey, situated between Stonehenge and Avebury, is the subject of a three-year dig but over the past six weeks archaeologists have focused on Marden henge and Wilsford henge. Built in 2400 BCE, Marden henge is the largest henge in the country.
     "The skeleton is a wonderful discovery which will help tell us what life was like for those who lived under the shadow of Stonehenge at a time of frenzied activity," said Dr Jim Leary, from the University of Reading's department of archaeology. "Scientific analysis will provide information on the gender of the child, diet, pathologies and date of burial. It may also shed light on where this young individual had lived," he added.
     The three-year dig aims to transform understanding of the people who lived in the areas surrounding Stonehenge. Findings to date include flint arrowheads and blades, decorated pottery, shale and copper bracelets and a Roman brooch.
     Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive, said: "Bigger than Avebury, ten times the size of Stonehenge and halfway between the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Sites, comparatively little is known about this fascinating and ancient landscape.

Edited from Western Daily Press (25 July 2015)

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