Archaeology and Stonehenge

Archaeology and Stonehenge Collection

The museum’s archaeology collection is one of the most important outside a national museum in Britain, including artefacts from Stonehenge, the Amesbury Archer and medieval finds from Old Sarum. Many of these items are displayed in the Wessex gallery, a display of international importance which places the story of Stonehenge within its wider chronological and regional context whilst telling the story of Salisbury and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the Norman conquest.

Alabaster Panel
This medieval alabaster panel of St John the Baptist, possibly from Old Sarum, is over 500 years old. Alabaster.
Amesbury Archer
The grave of the Amesbury Archer is one of the most important discoveries in Europe. Found near Stonehenge, the burial is over 4000 years old.
Amesbury Sarcophagus
This sarcophagus was discovered by Wessex Archaeology in 2007 during the excavation of a large Roman cemetery near Boscombe Down, Amesbury.
Archer’s Companion Gold Ornament
In 2002 a new school was built at Boscombe Down. Wessex Archaeology excavated the area and found a grave close to the Amesbury Archer.
Auroch’s Horn
Aurochs were a type of very large wild cattle that had been living in Britain since the end of the last Ice Age.
Boscombe Bowmen Finds
In 2003 Wessex Archaeology conducted excavations on the outskirts of Amesbury near Boscombe Down.
Bowerchalke Iron Age Hoard
This stunning collection of gold staters (coins) were found by metal detectorists near Bowerchalke.
Bowerchalke Roman Hoard
This gold coin is a solidus of Valentinian II (375–392).
Clarendon Head
This most well-known sculpture, which was once coloured, comes from the King's apartments at Clarendon Palace. 
Downton Mosaic
The remains of a Roman villa with this mosaic floor were uncovered in the early 1950s at Moot Close, Downton.
Drainage Collection
Four keys from the ‘Drainage Collection’.
Durrington Walls Grooved Ware Pot
This vessel from Durrington Walls was reconstructed by the antiquarian Robert Newall.
Easton Dog Skeleton
The dog skeleton was discovered in a circular pit during an excavation at Easton Down in Wiltshire in the 1930s.
Ford Warrior
This burial was found in the remains of a barrow near Ford, Salisbury.
Ivy Street Chess Piece
This 700 year old walrus ivory chess piece was found in Ivy Street, Salisbury.
Jadeite Axehead
This highly polished jade axe is an extremely rare and beautiful find which is alleged to have come from a barrow near Stonehenge.
Kingston Deverill Hoard
In February 2005 a copper alloy trulleus (a form of saucepan) was discovered by a metal detectorist near Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire.
Limoges Enamel Crucifix
Found under a heavy stone in the courtyard at Mompesson House in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury.
Medieval Pottery
A group of glazed medieval baluster jugs from the pottery kilns at Laverstock near Salisbury.
Mere Burial
In 1995, two workmen digging the foundations for a wall at Mere discovered the partial remains of a human burial.
Monkton Deverill Torc
In 1990 two metal detectorists discovered this finely made gold torc and copper alloy axe near Monkton Deverill, Wiltshire.
New Forest Pottery
Much of the Roman pottery found in south Wiltshire was made in the New Forest, just to the east of Fordingbridge.
Pilgrim Badge
This pilgrim badge portrays Our Lady of Tombelaine: Tombelaine is a tiny island close to Mont St Michel off the coast of France.
Shrewton Beaker Burial
The Shrewton beaker burial is a typical Late Neolithic burial with its beaker pot and copper dagger.
Stonehenge Archer
This burial was found during the excavation of the ditch surrounding Stonehenge in 1978.
Stonehenge Macehead
Polished macehead made from gneiss found associated with a cremation burial (human ashes) at Stonehenge.
Swallowcliffe Mount
This beautiful gold and silver satchel mount is from in a richly furnished and important Anglo-Saxon burial found on Swallowcliffe Down in 1966.
Tool Kit
This remarkable collection of stone and flint tools was found together inside a pot near East Knoyle in south Wiltshire.
Wardour Hoard
This hoard is more than 2700 years old and contains over 100 copper alloy objects.
Warminster Jewel
The Warminster Jewel is an aestel (manuscript pointer). It was found by a metal detectorist in a field near Cley Hill, Warminster in 1997.
Wilton Hanging Bowl
This bowl was discovered in about 1860 midway between Wilton House and Kingsbury Square, Wilton.