Archeological Finds: Amesbury Archer & Boxgrove

Throughout history, there have been numerous fascinating finds within archeology that allow us to see the way the world functioned before our own time. In this article, you will learn of Boxgrove, as well as the Amesbury Archer, who is also referred to as the “King of Stonehenge.”


The Amesbury Archer


Discovered in the middle of the year in 2002, a man dating back to about 2300 BC, including a margin of error that spans around 200 years. Since the find came from an area in Amesbury, which is close to Stonehenge, he was given the nickname of “King of Stonehenge,” with a formal name of the Amesbury Archer. The time period in which he originated from is considered the Bronze Age.


When investigating his gravesite, numerous expensive finds were encountered, which meant that the man had enjoyed a respectable status when arrive. The dating of his grave was made easier with the discovery of funerary pots that were connected to the “Beaker culture.” Close to the Amesbury Archer’s body was another man. Additional artifacts that were uncovered included several copper knives, numerous barbed flint arrowheads, as well as a few metalworking tools. Other important details associated with the man became known as the earliest gold objects that were ever located throughout England. The man had a pair of gold hair ornaments in his possession. On his forearm, he wore a black Stone wristguard, while his knees showed off a red one.


Tooth enamel analysis done completed on the man revealed that he came from a cooler region located in the central part of Europe. He had an eroded hole in his jaw, proving that he suffered from an abscess. He also was missing a kneecap on the left side of his body. It is believed that in life, he suffered from a bone infection that caused him much pain. He is thought to be one of the earliest metalworkers found within Britain, receiving the nickname of the “archer” because numerous arrowheads were found at his gravesite.




Boxgrove is the name given to the archeological site that offers a look into the Lower Palaeolithic era. The site was found within a gravel quarry and excavated between the years of 1983 and 1996 by a team hailing from the University College London.


The excavations uncovered many Acheulean flint tools, as well as the remains of animals that date back 500,000 years ago. A variety of bones at the site showed cut marks, indicating that some form of butcherly was performed during this time. The bones that were found in the area belonged to animals, such as lions, bears, giant deer, frogs and birds. The site did not feature any equipment that was used for hunting purposes. 


In 1994, a tibia belonging to a male was found at Boxgrove. This served as the first remains of Homo heidelbergensis. The importance of this find is that it is the only postcranial hominid bone that was found throughout the northern part of Europe. At both ends of the bone, signs of gnawing was revealed, which may have come from a wolf. Many believe that this proves that other animals ate these individuals as prey. Two incisor teeth were uncovered in 1996. The teeth revealed signs of damaging periodontal disease, as well as cut marks that were indicative of tools being used close to the mouth.