Historisches Museum Basel

For partial funding for the exhibition The Bronze Sky - Religion and Astronomy 3,600 Years Ago (September 2006 - January 2007).

The exhibition featured the Nebra Sky Disc, a bronze disc with gold appliqués discovered in 1999 with valuable swords, jewelry and tools on the summit of the Mittelberg hill near Nebra, Germany. The disc, one of the most important archaeological finds of our time, is the oldest known representation of the cosmos.

The Sky Disc indicates links to Ancient Greece on three levels. The key motif of the constellation of the Pleaides represented on the Disc can be traced to Greek mythology. According to Greek myth, the constellation´s seven stars were the Daughters of Atlas. The hunter Orion pursued them for a long time and then Zeus placed them in the heavens as a constellation. Pictures of ships such as those represented on the Sky Disc are also found on bronzes from the Carpathian Basin and the Greek islands. The technique of metal inlay was already highly developed in the Eastern Mediterranean by the time the Sky Disc was made.

To see the exhibition´s leaflet please click here (pdf file, 5MB).