In case you’re a fan of the universe and astronomy, you’ll want to see the unimaginable Nebra Sky Disk in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. This is why:
Every so often, you come throughout one thing in your travels that you simply’ve by no means seen and even heard about that utterly blows your thoughts. I had such a second once I visited the Saxony-Anhalt area of Germany a number of weeks in the past, as half of the #Transromanica blogger journey.
Whereas the journey was all about displaying us the Romanesque heritage of the space, and concerned principally church buildings, cathedrals, abbeys and monasteries, at one of the stops in the small city of Wangen (Unstrut), I managed to squeeze in a go to to a museum that made me very glad (as the Area Geek that I’m).
Proper subsequent to Wangen, lies ‘Nebra’ and that is the location a narrative that would have come proper out of a thriller novel:
In 1999, two treasure hunters (Henry Westphal and Mario Renner) discovered one thing that permit their metallic detector go wild: in a subject they found an enormous bronze disk, two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel and fragments of spiral bracelets.
Now, of course this discover was clearly superb, however as a result of they have been so clueless about how you can correctly excavate a website (and fairly frankly didn’t give a shit), they broken the disk with their spades and destroyed elements of the website, solely to promote their loot as quickly as attainable for a number of thousand German Marks to a vendor in Cologne.
In the two years after that, the gadgets modified arms a couple of occasions, elevating the prize to over one million DM and in 2002, lastly somebody with a way of historic significance (state archaeologist Harald Meller) situated the gadgets and traced the unique finders, who have been pressured to steer archaeologists to the discovery website.
Now, that is the place the social gathering started. As a result of whereas at first individuals didn’t consider the treasures have been actual, the dig and soil samples from the website confirmed proof that supported the looters’ claims. Into the State Museum of Prehistory the gadgets moved (and into courtroom the two idiots went), and on the unique location, the museum I now received to go to (Referred to as ‘Arche Nebra’) was based.
What we’ll cowl on this article
What’s the Nebra Sky Disk?
Briefly, the Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk with blue-green floor, inlaid with gold symbols. It’s round 30 centimeters / 12 inches diameter and a weighs 2.2 kilograms / four.9 kilos.
The symbols are interpreted as being the solar or the full moon, a lunar crescent and stars, together with a cluster of stars which are interpreted as the Pleiades.
Alongside the aspect of the disk, there are two extra golden arcs that have been added later and supposedly mark the angle between solstices.
The ultimate addition to the disk could be discovered at the backside and can also be an arch, however this time surrounded with a number of strokes. The which means of this arch is unsure, it’s been interpreted as a being a photo voltaic barge with quite a few oars, but in addition the Milky Method, or perhaps a rainbow.
The date is about at circa 1600 BC. and has been related to the Bronze Age Unetice tradition.
In June 2013, the Sky Disk was included in the UNESCO Reminiscence of the World Register and termed “one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century.”
Duplicate’s of the disk at full-size
Design of the Nebra Sky Disk Museum (Constructing)
Whereas the unique Nebra Disk could be discovered at the Halle State Museum of Prehistory (Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte), at the unique location the place the disk was discovered, there’s now a hanging guests middle with ‘golden’ roof that tells you all about the tales and interpretations of the disk.
The ‘Arche Nebra’ constructing was designed by Holzer Kobler Architekturen (in Zurich), accomplished in 2007, and is aligned with the giant panorama window on the 30 m excessive lookout tower at the location of the sky disc. A glazed roof window additionally directs the view from the lobby upwards and establishes the connection to the sky.
In the museum, there’s one foremost exhibition area and there’s additionally a planetarium with common screenings.
Design of the Nebra Sky Disk Museum (Exhibition)
I first didn’t even discover it, however as quickly as you enter the exhibition and enter the area, look straight forward. You’ll see that the 3D objects in the room truly come collectively as the similar imagery that you’ll find on the disk! How cool is that?!
If you then transfer round, the objects appear to vary form and you may have a better take a look at the info that’s being introduced. It’s an incredible parallel to the precise disk, as a result of behind what you see at first glace, hides the information essential to know the disc and the period it comes from.
One other factor that I favored, was how the large home windows offer you a direct connection to the space round the museum, which is of course essential, as that is the place the disk was discovered:
The exhibition feels very futuristic and has an amazing trendy method of explaining the historic details about the discovery, evaluation and interpretation of the finds, however one factor I consider they will enhance is to additionally make the exhibition extra accessible to non-German audio system.
There’s an audio information you can get from reception that has a great English model, however I personally wish to additionally have the ability to learn the English textual content on the shows itself, as I’m not a really auditory-learner, I want visuals!
You possibly can spot the little audio-guide numbers all all through the exhibition
The Nebra Sky Disk Exhibition
There are a number of sections to the exhibition, so let’s shortly information you thru them:
Basic Historical past of the Space
You begin with an summary of all the time durations, to provide you a common concept of what place in historical past the disk could be linked to.
After that, you’ll get details about how the disk and the different artifacts have been discovered at the Mittelberg plateau in the midst of a dense forest, about three kilometers from at this time’s customer middle.
The Mittelbergplateau is enclosed by an Iron Age ring wall and bounded by two part partitions. The ring wall of the older Iron Age is partially restored in the type of a grassy mound. The enclosure is oriented in such a method that the solar appears to set each solstice behind the Brocken, the highest peak of the Harz mountains, some 80 km to the north-west.
Exploring the Disk and different finds
The second part goes a bit deeper into the disk itself and in addition exhibits the different artifacts that have been discovered together with it.
As a result of the disk was discovered beneath such suspiscious circumstances, and with none archaeological context, it proved to be very troublesome to precisely date it.
The exact courting of the disk was achieved by courting the Bronze Age weapons that have been buried together with it. They did checks of the wooden and gold on the artifacts and with all info collectively, they managed to slender the age of the hoard down.
Many researchers consider the disk was used as some type of astronomical calculation device to find out planting and harvest occasions, which in that point was of course essential.
The Pleiades is a constellation that may have appeared in the sky in the autumn, which is harvest time, and disappear in Spring, when it’s time to plant the crops. Considering of this, it’s additionally believable that the third golden arc underneath the moon and stars is definitely a sickle.
The blue-green ‘night sky’ background of the disk appears to as soon as be extra of a deep violet-blue, apparently by making use of rotten eggs, inflicting a chemical response on the bronze floor.
Alongside the aspect of the disk are all these little holes and researchers consider they’re for attaching the disc to one thing, maybe a bit of material.
I liked seeing the particulars of the disk in the exhibition, which confirmed the way it was created in 4 phases:
1 – Addition of the full moon (or solar?), the waxing moon and the Pleiades
2 – Addition of the arcs on the sides and shifting/masking of some particular person stars
three – Addition of the arc at the backside
four – Restoration of the disk
I do know it’s only a copy, however nonetheless completely happy to carry it ?
The Star Disk of Nebra: Planetarium Present
One of the foremost options of the customer middle is the planetarium, the place you possibly can expertise an immersive journey into the Bronze Age universe.
That is one of the few digital planetariums in Germany and the 22-minute present was particularly created for the Arche Nebra.
The voice of the major speaker is that of Bernd Vollbrecht. In Germany he’s a bit well-known, as he is also the official German voice of Antonio Banderas. The music comes from profitable movie music composer Alexander van Bubenheim, who has been working in and for Hollywood for years.
Each half an hour, you possibly can watch the present and it’s included in your ticket prize. Whereas the present is in German, you should use your (additionally free) audio information to pay attention concurrently to the English model. Undoubtedly don’t miss it!
Different Nebra Disk-Associated Websites
There are a number of extra places round the Arche Nebra customer middle that I didn’t go to, however could be of your curiosity.
First, there’s the 30 meter excessive statement tower on the Mittelberg. Inclined at 10 °, it’s formed like the pointer of an outsized sundial. A vertical part divides the construction and marks the visible axis to Brocken: right here the solar went right down to the summer time solstice.
Then there’s additionally the “celestial eye”, which marks the location of the sky disc on the Mittelberg.
The Arche Nebra and the website of the sky disc are situated in the center of the Geo-Nature Park Saale-Unstrut-Triasland, which can also be nice to discover!
Lastly, the ‘Himmelswege’ is a path connecting necessary archeological locations in Saxony-Anhalt.
Copyright: Arche Nebra, Photograph: J. Lipták (left) and A. Stedtler (proper)
Should you’re fascinated by historical past, archaeology and something to do with our universe, the Arche Nebra customer middle (and maybe after that the museum of prehistory) are undoubtedly value a go to! It’s such a singular discover and story which you can’t discover anyplace else in the world. It’s simply unimaginable to see a affirmation of the concept that the astronomical information and skills of the individuals of the European Bronze Age have been thus far forward, and doubtless even higher than most individuals have at this time. Whereas me may by no means discover out the true which means of the disk, it’s going to perpetually stick with us as a reminder of the unimaginable universe we stay in and all the mysteries it nonetheless holds for us!
Sensible Web sites
Arche Nebra Customer Middle > www.himmelsscheibe-erleben.de
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte > www.lda-lsa.de/himmelsscheibe_von_nebra
Himmelswege Path > www.himmelswege.de
UNESCO > www.unesco.org
BBC Documentary > www.bbc.co.uk
Sky Paths Archaeological Route Brochure > www.himmelswege.de
Take a look at this video made by fellow journey bloggers Mike & Caspar:
Every day from 10:00 to 18:00 (April to October)
Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 16:00 and Weekends/Financial institution Holidays from 10:00 to 17:00. Closed on Mondays and 24 December (November to March)
The cafe is open day by day from 11:00 to 18:00 (April to October) and Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00, Closed Monday and 24 December (November to March)
Entry is €7,50 for Adults (Winter), this features a go to to the Planetarium.
Entry is €9,50 for Adults (Summer time), this features a go to to the Planetarium + Particular Exhibits.
For worldwide friends, the most important content material of the everlasting exhibition, all media stations and even the planetarium exhibits can be found in six overseas languages: English, French, Spanish, Polish, Japanese and Chinese language. That is free of cost.
Be certain that to take a look at our article on the street journey round Germany we made, following the Transromanica route:
Transromanica Street Journey in Germany: Harz Mountains to the Strasse der Romanik
Listed here are some nice excursions in the Saxony-Anhalt Area of Germany:
Disclaimer: I visited Germany as half of the #Transromanica blogger marketing campaign (I visited the museum on private request, as a result of it appeared so cool!). For this marketing campaign, I was compensated for creating content material on our web site and social media channels. All pictures (apart from the two pictures from Arche Nebra that I credited to the unique photographers) and phrases are our personal, as all the time.