The grave of the Bowmen was discovered during the digging of a trench for a new water pipe in May 2003. When archaeologist Colin Kirby saw human bone and pottery dating to the Bronze Age pottery, he realised immediately that a grave had been disturbed.
It was soon clear that there was something unusual about the grave. There was not just one skeleton, there were also bones from several other people. It was also clear that while the water trench had cut down one side of the grave, a trench for an electricity cable had also cut across part of the grave. What had survived the electricity and water trenches was quite unexpected.
The discovery of the Boscombe Bowmen follows hard on the heels of the astonishing story of the Amesbury Archer. The Archer was given the richest burial of his age. He was the earliest metalworker in Britain, and a man who came from central Europe. Like the Boscombe Bowmen, he lived at the beginning of the Bronze Age, at a time when great building works were going on at Stonehenge.
Wessex Archaeology is a practice of archaeologists based near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. It provides a wide variety of archaeological services for clients including housing developers and heritage organisations. The services include excavation, evaluation, assessments of existing records, marine archaeology and building surveys. It is also a registered charity with a remit to educate the public in archaeology.