Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
You are here: Home > Nebra Sky Disc > The cosmos of the Sky Disc > The barque > 
Deutsch | English

The barque

Ships on the horizon

the barque on the disc
Detail of the Sky Disc: the barque (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Foto: Juraj Lipták)

On the Nebra Sky Disc, there is one gold appliqué which differs sharply from the others - the celestial barque. This piece of plate has a steeper curve than the horizon arcs. Two lines scored on the gold give it a structure, and the edges of the plate have been clearly marked with a fringe of small strokes. Similar rows of strokes are well known from later bronze age depictions of ships, and they are often interpreted as oars or crew. We know of similar images of ships from bronzes from the Carpathian basin and the Greek Islands, but in the bronze age Aegean the idea of a celestial ship was unknown. It was only the Egyptians who developed a complex myth of the journey of the sun through day and night. Archaeological finds do not show if there was direct contact with Egypt. It remains an open question whether the idea of a celestial barque travelled to the north from Egypt or if the myths developed independently of each other.