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Current Affairs

Nebra Sky Disc

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 The world’s oldest concrete depiction of stars, known as Nebra Sky Disc, will be displayed by British Museum in London.

 

Background

The object is owned by the Germany’s State Museum of Prehistory and has loaned it to British museum for exhibition on Stonehenge.

 

Details

  • The Nebra Sky Disc was ritually buried along with two swords, axes, two spiral arm-rings and one bronze chisel about 3,600 years ago in Nebra Germany.

  • The objects were buried as a dedication to gods. In recent times the date of origin of the disc has been questioned.

 

Doubts on its age

A research paper had stated that the disc was at least 1,000 years younger than the assumed age. It belonged to Iron Age and not Bronze.

 

 

Depiction

The disc depicts the night sky with 32 gold stars, including the Pleiades, a hold orb that represents the sun or a full moon and a crescent moon.

 

Purpose

The exact purpose is yet to be figured out. There are assumptions that it is an astronomical clock, a work of art and a religious symbol. 

 

Other information

  • The materials required to make the disc was imported from as far as Cornwall in England but the technique and knowledge was entirely local.

  • The map of astronomical sky was made by observation from Mittelberg Mountain, which is near the modern village of Nebra.

 

Discovery

The disc was discovered in 1999 by treasure hunters, who had sold it in black market. It was subsequently recovered to become one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

 

Cultural significance

  • It represents the Unetice culture of early Bronze Age communities in central Europe including in Bohemia, Bavaria, southeastern Germany and western Poland.

  • The culture was known to use tin-bronze metallurgy. They are known to have produced many metallic artifacts.