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       The Nebra Sky Disc: (Astronomical Artefact)

This artefact was for a long time considered a fake. It is now accepted as a genuine artefact describing the night sky. It is a bronze disc about 32 centimetres in diameter with a diagram of the heavens embossed onto it in gold. It shows representations of the sun, moon, Pleiades and three other crescents, two presumed to be horizon lines and the other a possible 'Solar Barge' at the bottom.

The disc was found on top of a mountain (The Mittelberg) in Germany, along with a horde of other 'Bronze-age' relics, from which it is dated at c. 1,600 BC. The disc was made by a race of people that lived in Europe before the arrival of the Celts, and is said to be one of the oldest chart of the heavens in the world.



   Nebra Sky Disc - Form and Function:

Physical Description: (32cm in diameter, bronze, with gold decorations of the Sun, Moon and Pleiades).

On the left and right sides are two long arcs. These span about 80 degrees each. The difference between sunrise on the summer solstice and on the winter solstice is 82.7 degrees at this latitude, as is the difference between the sunsets on the two solstices. The two arcs are said to represent the portions of the horizon where the sun rises during the year. (The gold coating on the left arc, representing sunset, has fallen off and is lost).

Between the two arcs are a full circle and a crescent. The crescent obviously represents a crescent moon, while the large circle may be the sun or a full moon. (The gold on the sun/full moon circle is damaged). Considering recent conclusions of its original function (see below) it is likely that this is a sun symbol. In the background are 23 stars dotted in an apparently random pattern, and one group of seven stars which represent the Pleiades star cluster (the Seven Sisters or M45). X-Rays indicate that under the gold of the right arc are two more stars, so it is likely that the two arcs were added some time after the other features.

In addition, the number of stars on the disc is 32, along with the Moon, that makes 33 objects in total. Intriguingly, 33 Lunar years are equivalent to 32 Solar years.

Examination of the disc reveals that the arch at the bottom (the 'Sun Ship') was added 'ages after the disc was made' (2)


  • The Function of the Nebra Sky Disc:

It has been variously proposed that the disc was intended as an astronomical tool, and that through comparison of the skies and a visual display of the extremes of the rising and setting positions of the sun along the horizon (As presented by the arcs on each side), that with the disc in a horizontal plane, it could be used to determine the time of year. In addition, it is proposed that it was used to calculate the difference between the solar and lunar cycles in the form of adding a 13th lunar month, something which is required every two or three years); It is perhaps relevant that the cache site was found on the top of a hill, a good place for observing the suns movements. The site was surrounded by an artificial low bank, which could be used for measuring the position of the sun on the horizon. (1)


Article: 2002. (

A group of German scholars who studied this archaeological gem has discovered evidence which suggests that the disc was used as a complex astronomical clock for the harmonization of solar and lunar calendars.


"The sensation lies in the fact that the Bronze Age people managed to harmonize the solar and lunar years. We never thought they would have managed that,...The functioning of this clock was probably known to a very small group of people," 


The Bronze Age astronomers would hold the Nebra clock against the sky and observe the position of the celestial objects. The intercalary month was inserted when what they saw in the sky corresponded to the map on the disc they were holding in their hands. This happened every two to three years.


According to astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser of the Rurh University at Bochum, the Bronze Age sky gazers already knew what the Babylonians would describe only a thousand years later.


"Whether this was a local discovery, or whether the knowledge came from afar, is still not clear," Schlosser said.


Ever since the disc was discovered, archaeologists and astronomers have been puzzled by the shape of the moon as it appears on the disc. According to the ancient Babylonian rule, a thirteenth month should only be added to the lunar calendar only when one sees the constellation of the moon and the Pleiades exactly as they appear on the Nebra sky disc.


(Link to Full Article)

(Prehistoric Germany)

(Archaeoastronomy Homepage)


(Anomalous Artefacts)




Further Research:

The Nebra Sky Disc, Knowlton Henge and Cornish Gold:
Reinterpreting the Nebra Sky Disc:


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