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What can be learnt from a study of the Amesbury Archer and his grave goods?

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´╗┐What can be learnt from a study of the Amesbury archer and his Grave goods? A man?s grave was found in 2002 by Wessex archaeology staff 3 miles from Stonehenge, and was dated to around 2,300 BC. His grave was one of the richest ever found from the same period, and he was given the name Amesbury Archer or King of Stonehenge. A lot can be learnt from both the Amesbury archers remains in themselves, and also from his grave goods. Looking at the skeleton itself it was clear to see that the archer must have walked with a very pronounced limp to his left leg, as previous to his death he had lost his left knee cap, and he had also had an abscess on his jaw that had led to an infection in the surrounding bone, which would have caused him constant pain. ...read more.


However it would also seem that he was a skilled hunter, due to his being buried with a slate wrist guard used with longbows to protect from the recoil, and arrowheads. We can infer that the archer may have been very skilled at working copper, and would have been one of the first people in Britain to be able to work gold. This would have given him a huge amount of status with the people, and this could suggest that not all of the grave goods were his own personal possessions, but rather offerings of local people as a way to show his status. Another hugely significant find in the archers grave were the beaker pots, as he was from the European area and archaeologists knew that this was where the beaker pots had originated from. ...read more.


In conclusion there is a lot that we can learn from the Amesbury Archer from his grave goods, and also from his remains. It is possible to learn why he may have had such high status leading to a huge amount of grave goods, due to his skill with working newly introduced metals, and we can also learn that he may have been one of the early Europeans to introduce the beaker pot culture to Britain. We know that he would have been the only person locally to be able to work with gold, and his bronze dagger grave goods show status as they would not have been used as an actual weapon. A final important point would be that the archer is important in showing the change of society in early Bronze Age Britain as the stone age had been a time of relative equality, but with the bronze age came an increase in newfound status of individuals. ...read more.

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