Oldest astronomy map on show for the first time

 The 3,600 year old Nebra Sky Disc, the world’s oldest map of the stars, is to go on display in Britain for the first time next year.

The 12-inch bronze disc, discovered in 1999 near the town of Nebra in Saxon-Anhalt, Germany, will be a highlight of the British Museum’s forthcoming exhibition about Stonehenge, it was announced today.

The inlaid gold symbols on the disc are thought to represent the sun, moon, stars, the solstices and the constellation of the Pleiades. It will be part of the museum’s The world of Stonehenge exhibition, running from February 17 to July 17, and will go on show alongside a rare 3,000 year old sun pendant, discovered by a metal detectorist in Shropshire in 2018 and said  to be the most significant piece of Bronze Age gold ever found in Britain.

 “The Nebra Sky Disc and the sun pendant are two of the most remarkable surviving objects from Bronze Age Europe” said Neil Wilkin, the exhibition’s curator. “Both have only recently been unearthed, literally, after remaining hidden in the ground for over three millennia.

“While both were found hundreds of miles from Stonehenge, we’ll be using them to shine a light on the vast interconnected world that existed around the ancient monument, spanning Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe.”

 

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