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Stonehenge Mastermind Came from Afar

Almost every culture has legends of wise men coming from far off, bring secrets with them that formed the basis of the new culture. We can see evidence of this at Stonehenge. DNA tests on the skeleton of the man known as the "Amesbury Archer," who was buried with a arrowheads near the site of this giant construction, reveal he wasn't English, but came from Switzerland, Austria or Germany.

His grave contains the earliest gold objects ever found in Britain, meaning he may have brought the secret of gold with him as well as building techniques. Oetzy, the 5,000-year-old "ice man," whose body was found in melting ice in the Alps, could have been from the same culture, which would have been highly developed for its time.

The mysterious Archer lived around 2,300 BC. His grave was found three miles from Stonehenge, near Amesbury in Wiltshire, during an archeological excavation that was done before a housing development and school were built on the property. He probably married in the U.K., because the skeleton of a younger man was found in his grave. Testing reveals they were related, and that the younger man grew up locally, so this was probably his son.

Archeologists can tell he was an important man, perhaps a ruler or king, because of all the items found in his grave, including gold hair accessories, flint arrowheads, wrist guards, pottery and three copper knives that came from Spain and France. The gold dated from 2,470 BC?the oldest that's ever been found in the U.K.

Archeologist Andrew Fitzpatrick says, "This was a time of great change in Britain?the skills of metalworking were being brought here from abroad and great monuments such as Stonehenge were being built. We have long suspected that it was people from the continent of Europe who initiated the trade that first brought metalworking to Britain, and the Archer is the first discovery to confirm this. He would have been a very important person in the Stonehenge area and it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad?probably modern day Switzerland?could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain's most famous archaeological site."

Stonehenge was begun around 3,000BC. The Archer died around 2,300BC, at the same time the tall stones were erected. These consist of 20 ton stones from nearby Marlborough Downs and 4 ton Bluestones from Preseli in west Wales. No one knows out how the stones were transported 240 miles from Wales. Another thing no one can figure out is how the Archer found the right area to build Stonehenge?a place with the mysterious power to attract intricate crop circles every year.

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