Bronze Age Mediterraneans may have visited Stonehenge
The links between the Stonehenge area and the Mediterranean have been debated for years. Recent research by the British Geological Survey (BGS) suggests people came from both the snow of the Alps and the heat of the Mediterranean to visit Stonehenge.
However, scientific studies show that some of the people buried in the area during the Bronze Age were not local.
The analysis of the teeth from two males provides new evidence that one, dubbed ‘the Boy with the Amber necklace’, had come from the Mediterranean area, whilst the previously known ‘Amesbury Archer’ had come from the Alps.
The new evidence shows that ‘the Boy with the Amber necklace’ spent his childhood in a warm climate typical of Iberia or the Mediterranean. Such warm oxygen values are theoretically possible in the British Isles but are only found on the extreme west coast of South West England, western Ireland and the Outer Hebrides. These areas can be excluded as likely childhood origins of his on the basis of the strontium isotope composition of his teeth
‘The Boy with the Amber necklace’, whose grave was found on Boscombe Down, about 3 km south-east of Stonehenge, is from a more recent time — the end of the Early Bronze Age. His skeleton has been radiocarbon dated to around 1550 BC (dated by Wessex Archaeology). Aged 14–15 years when he died, he was buried wearing a necklace of around 90 amber beads.