Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
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The cosmos of the Sky Disc

world view
(© Karol Schauer / LDA Sachsen-Anhalt)

The image on the Sky Disc combines astronomical observations with mythical explanations. An abstract image of the sky at night forms the background. Its stars are carefully arranged in a way that creates no constellations except for one cluster which is clearly emphasised: the Pleiades. The crescent moon and the full moon or sun appear together. In addition, golden arcs on the horizons elucidate the sun's course in the sky between spring and autumn. The ship sails between the horizons, perhaps carrying the moon or the sun. It could be sailing by day or night, but the curvature suggests that the bows are heading to the left - a journey through the underworld by night?

For millennia it was believed that there was a vault of heaven stretched over the earth, onto which the stars were fixed. There are accounts of this in myths of various cultures. The Nebra Sky Disc, too, could be understood as a dome. The visible world that encircles human life is bounded by the horizon - the mythical threshold which bears the celestial barque.