Nebra's Mysterious Sky Disc Will Be Exhibited At The British Museum

The British Museum will exhibit the world's "oldest map of stars". The famous Sky Disc from Nebra is believed to be the oldest representation of the sky discovered to date.

According to BBC, the artifact is 3,600 years old and will be on display at the London Museum next year. The bronze disk, with a diameter of about 30 centimeters and a green-blue patina, has gold inlays that seem to represent the Sun, the Moon, the stars, the solstices, and the constellation of the Pleiades.

It was discovered in the summer of 1999 near the German city of Nebra and is on loan to the British Museum by the Museum of Prehistory in Halle.

It is the first time in the last 15 years that the record will travel abroad to be exhibited in another museum. The artifact will be part of an exhibition on Stonehenge that will open in February.

The Nebra Sky Disc is a Fascinating Ancient Artifact

"It's going to be eye-opening. The Nebra Sky Disc and the sun pendant are two of the most remarkable surviving objects from Bronze Age Europe. Both have only recently been unearthed, literally, after remaining hidden in the ground for over three millennia," said Neil Wilkin, curator of The World Of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

"We're delighted that they will both be key pieces in our once-in-a-lifetime Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum. While both were found hundreds of miles from Stonehenge, we'll be using them to shine a light on the vast interconnected world that existed around the ancient monument, spanning Britain, Ireland, and mainland Europe," the curator added.

Archaeologist and Bronze Age expert Prof Miranda Aldhouse-Green previously told the BBC that the Nebra disc can be compared to a visible version of a sacred text. 

The symbols on the Nebra disc "are all part of a complex European-wide belief system whereby people looked at the heavens, worshipped them, worshipped the sun, worshipped the moon, aligned their monuments on the sunrise or the moonrise," said the expert.

"And because Nebra has brought all these symbols together it tells us for the first time perhaps what people were really seeing, perceiving and believing."

The original purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery to humankind, but it is clear to us that the stone circle built in about 2,500 BC is aligned with the movements of the Sun.

The exhibition "The World Of Stonehenge" can be visited between February 17 and July 17 next year.

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