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Andrew Fitzpatrick:
Gold at Stonehenge

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Dr. Andrew Fitzpatrick: Gold at Stonehenge

A chance discovery of a burial site near Stonehenge led to one of the most momentous archeological discoveries ever made in Britain. Andrew Fitzpatrick and his team uncovered the skeleton of a man dating back nearly 4,500 years. The sheer scale of the find suggests that this was no ordinary man - for buried with him were dozens of objects, including two small gold objects.

"I knew straight away that the grave wasn't Roman because it had a kind of pottery in it that dates to the beginning of the bronze age, so it was almost two thousand years older than the Roman graves. So we knew that we had something very different."

The grave contained a number of fine objects designed for personal display, including a stone belt buckle, an archer wrist guard, copper knives, and very importantly, two identical pieces of gold. Upon examination, they turned out to be ornaments, probably hair clasps.

"It's normal in a burial of this age to find just one or two objects… But as the numbers mounted it was clear that this grave was of exceptional importance… it was the richest grave not just in Britain, but in continental Europe as well."

These hair clasps were probably the greatest treasures that anyone possessed in the British Isles 4,500 years ago, making the man who owned them extremely important indeed.

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