|The Sky Disk of Nebra|
The disk weighs about 2,3kg and consists of bronze as well as an alloy made of copper and tin. Originally, the disc was dark brown or even black but after the long years of sitting in the dirt, it became green. It was surprisingly found, that the disk was altered several times through the years. The smaller discs made of gold originally counted 32 pieces but due to the later adding of two 'horizons', two pieces were covered. By the time it was buried, one of the horizons was taken off and three holes were punched into the disk.
The disk was discovered by two Germans with the help of a metal detector, first thinking of it as the center piece of a shield. In Cologne, the disk was sold for about 15.000 Euro and until 2001 it was owned by several people across Germany illegally. Until this day, the actual value of the sky disk is unknown, but the insurance value in 2006 was 100 Million Euros. Due to the fact that the sky disk was excavated by amateurs, it was partially damaged. Also, the discoverers tried to clean the disk with soap and a steel sponge, wherefore the gold applications were damaged significantly. In Halle, Germany, it was then restored and the removed gold plates were reattached.
|The Sky Disk of Nebra|
Three Stages; Image: Rainer Zenz
It was furthermore assumed that during the first production phase of the sky disk, the open star cluster Plejades were added, represented by the smaller gold disks. The bigger yellow disks could either be interpreted as the Sun or a full Moon. The third major object was thought of as the Moon as well. It was assumed that the disk may have helped farmers calculating the dates for harvesting and seeding. Others saw a probable use of the disk in harmonizing the Lunar calendar with the Solar year. Later on, the signs for a religious use of the disk became more frequent and it was furthermore assumed that it was part of a complex religious system in Europe.
In the following years after its discovery, the Sky Disk of Nebra was exhibited numerous times across in Europe.
At yovisto, you may be interested in a three part documentation on the Sky Disk of Nebra.
References and Further Reading:
- Arche Nebra – Die Himmelsscheibe erleben
- Die Himmelsscheibe von Nebra – ein früher Blick des Menschen in den Kosmos
- Die Himmelsscheibe von Nebra in Die Zeit
- Study: Bronze disk is astronomical clock
- Calendar question over star disc
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- The Discovery of Nefertiti
- The Archeological Discovery of the Century - Tutankhamun's Tomb
- The Lost Inca City of Machu Picchu
- Cracking the Code - Champollion and the Rosetta Stone