Science, Technology

Stonehenge an ancient tourist destination

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Stonehenge_on_27.01.08“Wealthy teenager” helps scientists learn about Stonehenge

Scientists have figured out that the bones of an ancient teenager, buried near Britain’s mysterious Stonehenge monument, came from hundreds of kilometers away.

The wealthy teen was buried with a string of amber beads around his neck. He is known to researchers as “the boy with the amber necklace.”

He originally came from The Mediterranean, and was likely a tourist, visiting Stonehenge much as people do today—as a tourist destination.

The exact purpose of Stonehenge—an ancient ring of giant stones—is unknown and still puzzles scientists and entices tourists today.

The discovery of “the boy with the amber necklace” reinforces the idea that visitors travelled long distances to visit Stonehenge.

Scientists knew that he had travelled far, because amber is not normally found near Britain. They used “isotope analysis” to measure certain elements in the boy’s teeth, which helped them conclude that he was from the Mediterranean.

His necklace suggests that the boy came from a rich family.

His skeleton is one of several “foreign” sets of remains. The “Amesbury Archer” is thought to have come from the foothills of central Europe, and others are thought to have come from Wales or Brittany.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt
“The boy with the amber necklace” travelled very far to see Stonehenge—especially since he lived about 3,500 years ago. Why do you think people make such an effort to travel? Why is travelling important (or not so important) to you?

Reading Prompt
Today’s article includes a lot of words that you may not be familiar with. Readers often use different types of clues to help them read these tricky words. How did you do it? Did you recognize small words in big words to help you in your reading? If you saw a word that was difficult, did you try to read the whole sentence to see if it would help you understand? Or did you try to use letter sounds to help you read the words?

Primary and Junior
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including:

• semantic (meaning) cues (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, base words, phrases, sentences, and visuals that activate existing knowledge of oral and written language);

• syntactic (language structure) cues (e.g., word order, language patterns, punctuation);

• graphophonic (phonological and graphic) cues (e.g., onset and rime; syllables; similarities between words with common spelling patterns and unknown words; words within words) (OME, Reading: 3.2)

Grammar Feature: The Long Dash
A long dash can be used, like parentheses on either side of information that is extra to the sentence.

“The exact purpose of Stonehenge—an ancient ring of giant stones—is unknown and still puzzles scientists and entices tourists today.”

If the extra information is at the end of the sentence, the long dash goes before it and the sentence ends with a period, like most sentences.

“He originally came from The Mediterranean, and was likely a tourist, visiting Stonehenge much as people do today—as a tourist destination.”

Try to write one sentence with long dashes in the middle like the first example. Then try to write one sentence with a long dash near the end, like the second example.

This article was originally published on Oct. 22, 2010.