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Boscombe Bowmen facts for kids

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The Boscombe Bowmen is the name given by archaeologists to a group of early Bronze Age people found in a shared burial at Boscombe Down in Amesbury near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.


The Bowmen were found in 2003 during roadworks being carried out on behalf of the military contractor that operates the Boscombe Down airfield. The location is near a group of houses (known as Lower Camp) in Amesbury which are associated with the air base (which lies to the east).

The burials

The grave contained a total of seven burials: three children, a teenager and three men. Analysis of the skulls suggests that the men and the teenager were related to each other. The eldest man was buried in a crouched position with the bones of the others scattered around him and their skulls resting at his feet. They became known as the Bowmen because several flint arrowheads were placed in the grave. Other grave goods included a boar's tusk, a bone toggle, flint tools, and eight Beaker vessels, an unusually high number.

The burials are thought to date from around 2300 BCE, making them broadly contemporary with the Amesbury Archer who was found nearby to the south.


The finds are on display at the new Wessex Gallery of Archaeology, which opened at the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum in 2014.

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