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Nebra Sky Disc: All You Need To Know About The Oldest Map Of Stars

Tulika Tandon

Nebra Sky Disc is being on display in the British Museum in London. This is the disc that is said to be the world's oldest concrete depiction of stars. Know all about this piece which is the oldest map of stars here. 

📢🚨 New exhibitions just announced!

🏛 Get a sneak peek at our 2022 special exhibitions, including a major show on Stonehenge featuring the 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc on loan from @MuseumHalle: https://t.co/8qCkaaIvra pic.twitter.com/RuKvPbhg6W

— British Museum (@britishmuseum) October 18, 2021

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Nebra Sky Disc: Interesting facts you need to know

The oldest map of stars, Nebra Sky Disc has been loaned to the British Museum by the German State Museum of Prehistory in Halle which owns it. It would be showcased as a part of the exhibition on Stonehedge which would open in February 2022. 

Nebra Sky Disc is an almost 3600 years old disc that was ritually buried with two swords, axes, one bronze chisel and two spiral arm rings in Nebra, Germany. This is where it gets its name from. 

Compare and contrast.

The oldest map of the stars (c. 1600 BC), the Nebra Sky Disc, shortly to go on display @britishmuseum

A diagram of the celestial bodies (c. AD 1280), in the Northern French Miscellany @britishlibrary https://t.co/rqTIQYPz0Khttps://t.co/w8yJJSUC88 pic.twitter.com/nElRpng0XW

— Julian Harrison (@julianpharrison) October 18, 2021

Many archaeologists still argue that the disc is not as old as it is thought to be till now. They say that it is as much as 1000 years younger than thought. This means that the disc belongs to the iron age and not the bronze age. 

The State Museum for Prehistory in Germany, however, denies these claims and finds it difficult to accept that the disc is from the iron age and not the bronze age. 

The disc is also imagined to work as an astronomical clock. It may also be a work of art or a religious symbol.  The exact purpose of this disc is still unknown. 

The disc is valued at about 11 million dollars and is thought by some to be in pairs with one part found and the other being missing. 

The reports in the notes of the Archaeological Institute of America indicate that the disc has been buried after already being used for 200 years. 

The raw material required to prepare the disc was imported from Cornwall in England while the knowledge for its creation is completely local. 

It was drawn by observing the heavens from Mittleberg Mountain, near Nebra.

The disc has been associated with the Unetice culture that inhabited parts of Europe around 1600 BC. 

How was the Nebra Sky Disc discovered?

This bronze disc was discovered more than two decades ago. In 1999, a group of treasure hunters detected this disc using metal detectors in Nebra. This was an illegal activity carried out by them and the disc was found 4 years later in a  black market raid in Switzerland. 

The raiders said that the object had a diameter of about 30 cm and was found along with some other bronze-age weapons.

There have been a lot of tweets in this regard recently. Take a look below at some:

The 3,600 year old Nebra Sky Disc is thought to be the world's oldest map of the stars and was discovered in Germany in 1999.

In February it will be on display in the UK as part of a @britishmuseum exhibition on Stonehenge, loaned by @MuseumHalle. ⤵️https://t.co/X8LeliRBUB

— German Embassy London (@GermanEmbassy) October 19, 2021

The German Embassy also had tweeted about Nebra Sky Disc which can be seen above. 

The Nebra Sky Disc will form part of 'The World Of Stonehenge' exhibition which will open @britishmuseum in February 2022.https://t.co/CYN67syass

— Prehistoric Society (@PrehistSociety) October 18, 2021
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