Ancient Britain Stonehenge

DNA Match: Bronze Age Golden Boy Amesbury I2639 (1515 BC)

Stonehenge was built in Neolithic times (circa 2300 BC) and drew ailing pilgrims from around Europe for what they believed to be its healing properties, according to recent research. Pilgrims would wear amulets crafted using pieces of the rocks at the monument. One dig uncovered masses of fragments carved out of the bluestones which were used to create amulets. Stonehenge could be compared to Lourdes in France today. Many of the ancient skeletons found nearby seem to show signs of serious disease or injury and many show signs of coming from far away. The outer stones are what most people associate with the monument. There is also a competing theory that the temple was a meeting point between the land of the living and the dead. In either case, this massive monument would attract visitors from far and wide as archaeogenetics discovers.

The Boscombe Bowmen consisted of 7 burials (3 males, a teenage male and 3 children) who were buried with flint arrowheads and contemporaries of the Amesbury Archer from the same exact time period of 2300 BC. There were also boar's tusks, a bone toggle, flint tools and eight Beaker vessels in the grave. Lead isotope analysis of the bodies shows they grew up in areas of Wales or the Lake District and moved later in life. Genetically they appear to be similiar to the Bell Beaker peoples found in Iberia. Nearby was buried another interesting sample referred to as Amber Boy who was a teenager buried with a necklace of over 90 amber beads. The amber seems to have come from the Baltic Sea and the boy may have come from the Mediterranean Sea. This suggests that Amber Boy held a significant status and had travelled from far away to come to Stonehenge.