The Nebra Sky Disc

The Nebra Sky Disc

The original Nebra Sky Disc is a magnet for visitors to the Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte (State Museum of Prehistory) in Halle (Saale). The world’s oldest physical representation of the sky is part of the museum’s permanent exhibition. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of the Early Bronze Age when the sky disc was made, as well as discovering exciting insights into other eras from the Stone Age to the Early Middle originale Himmelsscheibe von Nebra ist ein Besuchermagnet im Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte in Halle (Saale). Die weltweit älteste konkrete Himmelsdarstellung wird in ihrer Dauerausstellung in Szene gesetzt. Eintauchen können Besucher dort auch in die Welt der Frühbronzezeit, die die Himmelsscheibe hervorbrachte, darüber hinaus gibt es spannende Einblicke in weitere Epochen von der Steinzeit bis ins Frühmittelalter.

The Nebra Sky Disc

Reaching for the stars in Saxony-Anhalt

This discovery of the century, along with its associated “detective story,” the fascinating astronomic and mythological symbols and the glitter of gold beguiles every visitor. In 1999, two metal detectorists illegally dug up a bronze disc on the Mittelberg and sold it to stolen-goods receivers. It was not until 2002, after the disc moved locations a number of times, that the police located it along with accompanying artefacts in a Basel hotel, and returned it safely to the Saxony-Anhalt State Archaeologist.

The Nebra Sky Disc is the world’s oldest known physical representation of the cosmos, which makes it a unique testament to human history. The 3,600-year old bronze disc measures 32 centimeters in diameter and depicts the sun – or a full moon depending on your interpretation – a crescent moon and 32 golden stars. Very few archaeological museum exhibits are in such high demand as the Nebra Sky Disc. It has already been showcased as an exhibition centerpiece in Copenhagen, Vienna, Basel and Berlin. Since 2008 it has remained in the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle (Saale), one of the most important archaeological museums in Central Europe.

The exhibitions at the State Museum show current research into amazing images, remarkable stories and artefacts of international significance. They present a realistic depiction of life during the Stone and Bronze Ages, with wild cave lions, formidable mammoths, contemplative Neanderthals, shamans, tombs and royal burial sites, and of course, the original Nebra Sky Disc.

Good to know: From June 4, 2021 to January 9, 2022, the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle is presenting the state exhibition “The World of the Nebra Sky Disc – New Horizons”. The exhibition will showcase new finds as well as discoveries and research results from the past 20 years. Interwoven with natural science, archaeology, social theory and art, it creates a multi-faceted picture of the world in which the sky disc was made.

In June 2013, UNESCO incorporated the Nebra Sky Disc in the Memory of the World Register. This directory includes precious book collections, manuscripts, musical scores, unique objects, and picture, audio and video documents representing the collective memory of different peoples.