Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
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The Nebra hoard

The Nebra hoard (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Foto: Juraj Lipták)
A sword from the hoard (© LDA Sachsen-Anhalt, Foto: Juraj Lipták)

The Nebra deposit contained other finds as well as the Sky Disc: two swords, two axeheads, a chisel and two spiral armbands. Nothing comparable to the Sky Disc exists, so the hoard can only be assigned to a particular period and culture by considering the other finds.

The swords are of exceptional quality. The grips had two sides: a display side of bronze decorated with copper inlay, and the back, made of an organic material. The blades are also inlaid with copper. The gold bands around the handles show that these are luxury weapons for display. The state in which the objects were found has been reconstructed from the results of excavation on Mittelberg hill and the statements made by the finders. When taking the finds out, the finders also removed some of the large stones which had surrounded them. No signs of burial or settlement remains were found then or in later excavations. There is therefore no doubt that the finds were originally deposited as a hoard.

The Sky Disk was damaged when it was removed from the ground and when it was subsequently cleaned by unsuitable methods: parts of the gold plate were torn off, the surface was badly scratched and the edge of the disc was struck by a pick. The marks left by the pick show that the disc must have stood upright in the ground, with the barque at the bottom and the horizon arcs at the sides. The arc on one edge is missing, but it will have come unstuck in ancient times. The damage done by the illegal excavators has now largely been repaired: the star that came off has been put back in place and the damaged part of the large circular motif has been restored.