by Patricia Lantz
The Nebra Star disc, bronze, thirty centimeters in length and covered with golden decorations that form a picture of the sun, the moon and stars, is rewriting the epic story of how civilization came to Europe, over 3000 year ago. Archaeologists believe that the Nebra Star disc dates all the way back to 1600 BC, making it the oldest accurate picture of the night sky in all history.
The images on the star disc have sacred meaning. The Sun is a bringer of life, while the Moon symbolizes the passage of time. The small cluster of seven stars between the sun and the moon on the star disc resembled the constellation known the Pleiades. The horizon band marks the Sun’s sacred solstices in Central Europe. All these symbols represent the complexity of European belief systems.
Watch “Secrets of the Star Disc” Sunday, August 2, on National Geographic (Read more)