Devizes Museum will star at a major new exhibition opening at the British Museum on Thursday when Wiltshire lends the nation the best of grave finds from Stonehenge.

The centrepiece of the British Museum’s World Of Stonehenge exhibition will be rare and ancient artefacts which are usually on display in Long Street, Devizes.

Devizes Museum’s director, David Dawson, said the national repository had asked to borrow objects “because we have the best early Bronze Age collection in the country”.

Among the relics from Stonehenge that are going to London are some of the possessions of the Bush Barrow Chieftain, who was buried in a mound overlooking the henge more than 4,000 years ago.

The British Museum has asked David to make a YouTube video presenting the exhibits and explaining their heritage.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Museum director David DawsonDevizes Museum director David Dawson

“We know that the chieftain was important because of where he was buried, overlooking Stonehenge and because the objects he was buried with show his importance,” said David.

“The gold and bronze of these objects would have represented unimaginable wealth in the Bronze Age”.

One prized relic is the chieftain’s dagger, which has a bronze blade decorated with 140,000 gold studs.

“The studs are tiny, the width of less than a human hair. If you were to put one in place a minute, that would be nine months’ work,” said David.

Devizes Museum is also lending its national counterpart relics including a necklace, axes and a talisman found in the grave of a shaman who died around 1800BC and who was buried unusually.

“The shaman, or priest, was buried on his back but in the grave next to him was the skeleton of a woman sitting bolt upright, which is just weird,” said David.

In return for the prized artefacts from Stonehenge, the British Museum is lending the Devizes Museum a selection of gold-studded daggers from Greece and objects buried in the Bronze Age.

To see David Dawson explaining the importance of the Devizes exhibits going to London on loan, go to: