The Sky Disc is one of the most important archaeological finds of the past century. It shows the world’s oldest concrete depiction of astronomical phenomena that we know.
Elements of the day and night sky mingle in front of an abstract network of stars. The sun and moon are not only depicted in their heavenly course, but also explained. A boat appears between the horizons on a nocturnal voyage across the celestial ocean. It is here for the first time recorded as a central mythical symbol in Europe. The Sky Disc gives us an insight into the knowledge of our ancestors about the course of the world and its religious interpretation 3,600 years ago.
The importance of the Nebra Sky Disc as the oldest concrete depiction of cosmic phenomena is also reflected in its inscription to the UNESCO document heritage register ›Memory of the World‹, which took place in June 2013.
History of Discovery
The Nebra Sky Disc is part of a bronze treasure which detectorists illegally unearthed in the summer of 1999 near the summit of the Mittelberg hill.
The find was sold and over the following years fell into the hands of various fences and dealers in stolen goods. In February 2002, the Basel police, in close cooperation with the State Office of Criminal Investigation, the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs and the State Office for Heritage Management and the Archaeology of Saxony-Anhalt, secured the find. Ever since, the originals belong to the treasury of the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle. The Sky Disc has been on show in the State Museum’s permanent exhibition since May 23rd, 2008.
Here you can find the films from the »Museum exklusiv« series of the State Museum of Prehistory »Die Himmelsscheibe von Nebra: Einführung« and »Die Himmelsscheibe von Nebra: Bedeutung«. (German version only).