Found, by a Badger: A Bronze-Age Burial Not Far From Stonehenge

Shards of a funeral urn likely broken by a badger (Photo: Wiltshire Council CMAS)

In Netheravon, Wiltshire, about five miles from Stonehenge, a badger looking for a home came upon a promising looking mound. As badgers do, it started to dig out a den for itself. As it was digging, it encountered some unusual obstacles–which, being a badger, it dug right through. 

Soon a human, Tom Theed, happened by. He saw the pile that the badger had excavated from the ground and, being a human, he noticed that the badger had dug up pieces of pottery. 

That pottery was part of a cremation urn that dated back about 4,000 years, the BBC reports. Very likely, it had stayed whole in that burial mound for millennia, until this badger decided to make its den there. When archaeologists excavated the mountain, they found a serrated blade, an archer's wrist guard and shaft straighteners, and a copper chisel with a decorative bone handle.

Copper chisel (Photo: Wiltshire Council CMAS)

Though the archaeological team is pleased with the objects they found, other badgers should not take this as an inspiration to take up amateur archaeology. "We would never have known these objects were in there, so there's a small part of me that is quite pleased the badger did this... but it probably would have been better that these things had stayed within the monument where they'd resided for 4,000 years," the dig's senior archaeologist told the BBC.

This badger, though, will not be sanctioned in any way. The Wiltshire and Swindon History Center notes: "Of course, the badger has been safely moved on to a new home."

Bonus finds: Albino turtle1935 message in a bottle about Mussolini

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