Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
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The horizon arcs

Thousand-year-old knowledge

The first alteration in the depiction of the sky on the disc was that two stars were hidden and a third relocated to make space for two gold arcs around the edges. They mark the sun's changing course from horizon to horizon, something that had already been known for millennia even then.

The two upper ends of the arcs mark where the sun rises and sets at the summer solstice and the two lower ends mark these points at the winter solstice. The arcs each form 82° of a circle, the same degree as the sun's movement around the horizon in the course of the year at the latitude of Central Germany.

When the horizon arcs were added, the code of the leap year rule was destroyed. Either it was no longer understood, or it was intentionally removed from the face of the Sky Disc.

Goseck
The reconstructed circular earthwork at Goseck (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt)

Already in the Neolithic period, people had paid close attention to the daily movement of the points on the horizon where the sun rises and sets. One of the oldest pieces of evidence for this is the 7000-year-old circular earthwork at Goseck. But whoever created the horizon arcs on the disc was thefirst one to convert these observations into a two-dimensional image.