The Sky Disc







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i think your website is very interessting and i have a question.
why was the sky disc burried ? it still had to be important.
With best wishes
gerda hajszanyi (17.01.2004)

Dear Mr. Doricht.
I liked your interpretation of the Nebra Sky Disc as a shield ornament. Could you tell me more about your theories or have you got a website ?
With best wishes
Robert Destellirer (21.01.2004) ,
a simple netherland historian and certainly not a bronze-age specialist.


I was the head of the planetarium in Calden, as well helped with the building of the school planetarium in Gudensberg ( ). I also gave lessons to young people in astronomy.

Once a youth group had to draw the night sky on a piece of paper. These drawings looked like the sky disc. Luckily we wrote the date down, it would have been difficult to interpret them otherwise. The drawings differed a lot. Most students only knew the Big Digger and Polaris and nothing about the phases of the moon.

Maybe the maker of the disc just sat down, looked at the sky and drew it -without much thinking. And now we are doing computer calculations to find the deeper meaning. He might find it very funny.

But think of this :

If you tried to make a new calender where would you start ? Most probably with the full or half moon or the sun set or rise. We have to think about the simple way the people lived then. This disc is for me the proof that people forgot how to deal with ancient things in a simple way..

With best wishes.
Horst-Dieter Döricht. (31.01.2004)

Thanks a lot to you and Mr. Doericht,
With best wishes from Holland
Robert Destellirer (01.02.2004)

Hello and a belated happy new year to you.

Following on from our conversation about the Azerbaijan calendars, I have some interesting news. As per your question, I have just come back from a holiday in Azerbaijan where I checked the orientation of the 'Suveilan' calendars. They are oriented to the East (at about 118 degrees). Not only this I visited an even more remarkable 'calendar' at a place called 'Qobu' and the 'calendar' there also seems to be oriented to the East.(115 degrees). The orientation here is based on an associated cup mark. Are you aware of other calendars which are orientated like this?

For your information, I have attached email scaled photograph s of the 6 carvings which I feel have calendar type properties, these being the orientation and the number of small cup marks or indentations around the perimeter. It is worth saying a few words about each calendar.

At the Suveilan site, which incidentally is under threat of being destroy by a housing development, there are two calendars sitting within a metre of each other on bedrock and adjacent to a stone circle.

Suveilan A
Suveilan A
Suveilan B
Suveilan B

Some of the circle stones have petroglyphs carved onto them. Each 'calendar' has 60 indentations, though it is difficult to make out all of the indentations due to lichen cover. As I believe I mentioned before, the indentations in are connected by small channels so that groups of six indentations are interconnected. The figure 60 here is I feel important as it may well relate to the Sumerian sexagiesimal counting system. It may also reflect the 360+5 days in the year.

The Qobu 'calendar' which we were taken to by some hunters who reported it to an archaeological colleague is absolutely fascinating. I have filled each of the holes with some water to define the holes better. This site is on top of a rock shelter which has several channels carved into it leading to water catchment holes.

It is clearly very ancient and in keeping with many other finds in Azerbaijan. I feel we could be looking at dates of some 6000 years before present. At Qobu the number of holes in the perimeter is only 18, with 4 larger holes in the centre and an outlying cup mark which I feel provides its easterly orientation. What these holes mean again is unknown, but curiously can divide into 360, so making it a possible calendar contender.

The 'calendars' at Hajigabul are also interesting. Unfortunately we do not have information on the orientation of these.

Hajigabul A Kalender

Hajigabul B Kalender

I'll describe them. Hajigabul A is easier to see in the photograph, but unfortunately has had the stone damaged at some point. Hajigabul B is more intact but difficult to see on the picture. Both exhibit a circular ring of indentations comprising 12 small holes with 2 indentations in the centre. Adjacent to the ring of holes is a larger possibly sacrificial cup mark. I say this as there are two small channels leading into the larger cup mark. I refer to this 'sacrificial' sort of cup mark in the attached article ref:

An article about this.

I suspect that given there are 12 holes this could be linked to either an annual or lunar cycle and have some sort of religious significance, if sacrifice of an animal is implicated.

Either way it is all fascinating stuff, - rings of indentations with central holes. There clearly is apattern here and I would dearly like archaeologists to investigate this further to try to make sense of it.

Going back to the 'sky disc', which was the original reason for contacting you, it strikes me that this too may have calendric properties. As I have suggested, it is of interest that the 'calendars' in that attached photographs all have a circle of indentations -all of which can divide into 360. The Nebra disc has similar properties. Between an original picture and a model of the disc, I can count some 40 indentations. This of course may just be coincidence, but given that the 'Gala museum' calendar, was is carved onto a limestone tablet and so was portable like the Nebra disc, then it does not stretch the imagination too much to think that that the Nebra disc may also have served a pragmatic use as a calendar too. Indeed it would be surprising if it did not. Given that it exhibits advanced knowledge of the night sky and religious significance (- e.g. solar boat), it is fairly evident that the ancients understood the passage of time throughout the year. So they must have used some sort of calendar system. The Nebra disc may well have had a practical purpose and perhaps could even be a more modern version of the 'calendars' found in Azerbaijan.

This is all interesting speculation and I would welcome your comment.

Best wishes
Ronnie (01.02.2004)

I don't think that the sky disc will influence the interpretation the one of Phaistos. The disc of Phaistos talks, the disc of Nebra shows. It seems to be a sign language with (day) numbers. Both discs deal with the sky but are rather different.

Hermann Wenzel (18.02.2004)

maybe you find links interessting:

theory on nebra disk

theory on origin of Orion and methodology

theory on the origin of the sun boat


Mick Saunders (17.02.2004)

I wrote an email to e-mail an National Geographics. I don't think the stars are positioned randomly. The yellow lines cross in the centre of gravity of the earth and the moon. This would mean that the people at that times knew a lot more than we think.

With best wishes
Dieter Jakobs (04.03.2004)

Dear Team von National Geographic,
The position of the stars resemble planets on their way round the sun. In the inner circle there are 8, in the outer there are 9 star. I'd like to hear your opinion about it.

With best wishes
Dieter Jakobs

thw white line should cross the yellow lines where they meet if the white line is the equinox.

Polaris is today next to the celestian pole but it was not in that position 3600 years before. At that time there was no star there. Star SAO-Nr. 7854 was rather near to that position.( 89° 2', 5.54mag : not very bright but visible at that time .

Best wishes from the Sauerland
Wolfgang Thiele (19.04.2004)
Author of the book "Der Himmel ist unter uns" ("The sky is among us").
Siehe auch:

Can anyone translate this ? ;-)

Spett. Signore, mi chiamo Bulfari Vittorio e mi scuso prima di tutto di non scrivere in inglese, ma quello che devo dire mi viene meglio in italiano. Ho visto su un programma della "La7" (emittente televisiva privata italiana), coordinata dal prof. Massimo Manfredi, la storia del disco di Nebra. Incuriosito da questo ritrovamento, ho visitato anche il Vostro sito, e le conclusioni non mi hanno convinto. Prima di tutto il disco non ha un senso di osservazione (è rotondo) e la questione che sia una mappa stellare mi lascia perplesso. Ho pensato che 3600 anni fa una mappa stellare poteva essere una cosa inutile, visti i problemi di sopravvivenza che dovevano affrontare. E poi perché rappresentare il sole, se la mappa era stellare, cioè notturna? Anche la barca del sole non mi ha convinto. Lo stesso per la costellazione delle Pleiadi, che ha una forma troppo simmetrica (mi occupo di astronomia a livello amatoriale e non l'ho notato in nessuna mappa). Ho stampato allora la copia del disco ed ho cominciato ad osservarlo. Premetto che le conclusioni che di seguito espongo sono del tutto personali, però ci tenevo a farle sapere. Dopo varie prove, ho girato il disco di 180 gradi rispetto la fotografia stampata dal computer e ho notato alcune cose interessanti.
1) La falce di Luna viene rappresentata come in effetti appare nella realtà
2) Le Pleiadi in questa posizione assomigliano più ad un regolo per traguardare
3) La barca del Sole assume più l'aspetto di una ipotetica traccia che la Luna piena traccia nel cielo
4) Le varie "stelle" sono rappresentate come dischetti, ma 3600 anni fa l' uomo non sapeva ancora che le stelle erano globi di fuoco
5) La banda laterale mancante ha la stessa dimensione di quella esistente.
Ci sarebbero altri interrogativi, ma per non seccare chi legge, ho tratto la conclusione che il disco di Nebra sia più semplicemente una specie di calendario solare e di un calendario lunare con evidenti le varie fasi.
Se la cosa può avere qualche interesse, Vi potrei mettere al corrente delle mie conclusioni. Vi ringrazio per l'attenzione, e se le mie osservazioni sono prive di qualsiasi fondamento, Vi prego di scusarmi. Allego ugualmente il mio indirizzo e-mail, così spero di ricevere una immagine del disco in alta definizione in modo da poterne fare un quadretto da appendere vicino al computer nel ricordo delle notti insonni nel cercare di capire il disco di Nebra. Scusatemi di nuovo e grazie (9.05.2004)

The diagonal on the first picture is wrong, the bow is longer. Both bow seem to have been of a different length. This would be very important.

Best wishes
Armin Wirsching (13.05.2004)

Hello, Beate

In my opinion, your suggestion seems to be most promising among the various interpretations of the 32 small golden plates of the sky disk. But with regard to the selection of constellations and stars some questions still continue. Therefore I may offer a hypothesis which bases on other ones and can make your selection (or an alternative one) more plausible: the sky disc presents those stars that were visible at that time. According to this hypothesis the sky disc gets another, but no less important meaning. As I did not hear or read anything about the obvious connection between the genesis of the sky disc and a climatic impact I want to dare to publish this hypothesis though I am an absolute amateur and outsider.

The sky disc of Nebra - response to the Thera catastrophe?

1. Eclipse of the sun in 1639 BC
The sky disc is dated back to about 1600 BC - an epoch of dramatic events. B. Deiss ( points to a partial eclipse of the sun that took place two hours before sunrise at 21. June 1639 BC. This unique event should have been made a powerful impression on the humans at that time and might be conserved - in heads or on stones. A decade later it was projected onto a bronze disk as a golden sickle. The tilted position near the border underlines this interpretation. The eclipse may lead to the conviction that the moon was the mightiest godhead. The sun could catch the moon without remarkable consequences. But when the moon captured the sun then it becomes dark and cold on the earth. About ten years later it became reality in a frightful manner.

2. Volcanic eruption at Thera in 1628 BC
It is generally accepted that in 1628 BC a large volcano of the northern hemisphere exploded (ice cores, independent tree ring analysis). By many reasons the volcano of Thera is favoured since long time (see W.J. Broad, Int. Herald Tribune 2003). McCoy is convinced that the violence of its eruption was underestimated until now. Indeed the eruption would be the perhaps largest one during the last 10 000 years with catastrophic consequences. McCoy showed conclusively that the fall of the Minoan culture of Crete was caused by this eruption - partly direct (especially by the tsunami waves) or gradually (missing mar fleet, crop failure). The ejection of gigantic masses of volcanic ash and pumice into the atmosphere darkened the sun for years, if not for a decade. Dendrochronological data proof it. Not only for Crete, but for the whole old world an age of crop failure and famine began which was unique in its history.

3. The sky disk as religious object
An excessive orientation towards gods should have been the consequence of this disaster. Beyond all doubt the invocation of the uppermost (moon) god culminated in the entreaty to set free the sun, like in 1639 BC, and take away the shadow from it, the stars and the rain bow. To excessively stress the entreaty the sky disk of Nebra was created using the precious materials available at that time. Gold plates were fixed on a bronze disk reflecting sun, moon, stars and rain bow - all what was severely needed in the old splendour. Possibly it was not intended nor was it necessary to project a precise copy of the star firmament on the bronze disk. It seems to be also rather insignificant whether the cluster of 7 stars really represents the Pleiades or a calendar. In any case all prayers and entreaty did not help. This induced the second carrier of the sky disk.

4. The sky disk as agricultural object
The reduced light intensity (important for photosynthesis) and the shortened day length (flower induction) must have had fatale effects on the yields of annual crop plants. Never before it was as important to carry out sowing, harvest and tillage at the right time. To survive reliable agricultural data were urgently needed. The Pleiades - provided that they were already used as an indicator - were no longer visible. But other means were known or invented and applied to the sky disk. Now, only a short time after the volcano eruption, horizontal crescents were added which allowed a certain estimation of the solstices (W. Schlosser). The ecological disaster left tracks not only at the Mittelberg where the sky disk was excavated. The increased invocation to gods and the request of reliable agricultural data brought about epoch-making works at other sites, too - e.g. Stonehenge the completion of which is dated back to this time. Finally after some years it became lighter. Of course it had been ascribed to the sky disk. This allowed the third carrier of the sky disk.

5. The sky disk as arm
H.D. Döricht convincingly argued that the sky disk was nailed on a shield to intimidate any enemy. But the ruthless knocking through the gold coatings proofs that this was not the first intention of the creator. Furthermore it is not easy to belief that a disk showing only sun, moon and stars could have exerted such an exciting effect. But when the sky disk has had the mentioned magic function then it would nearly guarantee victories if it was fastened on a shield. A clever sovereign or shaman obviously took advantage of this. The reach burial objects at the Mittelberg supports this view.

With best regards - Norbert Erdmann (21.10.04)

I just like again to point out the possibility that the third sicle may have its origin in the three stars of the girdle of Orion (Alnitak, Alnilam, Mintaka) which led the their symbol : a boat.
Does anyone have any other suggestion ?
The author (21.10.2004)

It's doubtful there is only one sky disc in Europe if it was a calender. Tomb hills and buildings on posts are everywhere in Europe - here in the Netherlands as well. Maybe it has something to do with the worship of the sun as a god. (Stonehendge etc.) There wasn't as much polution as there is today and many more stars could be seen. Only the knowledge of the Greek and the Romans survived, lots is lost. And new buildings has and will destroy historical sites.
Someone from the Netherlands (25.10.2004)


some ideas regarding the sky disci:

1. I heard that unplublized maps where the ky to the place where the disc was found. Does anyone know anything about this ?

It is difficult even for today's metal detectors to find a sky disc.

2. Are there any similar places in Europe with high mountains?

3. Possibly Kyffhäuser and Brocken ? Maybe the observatory of Goseck near Weissenfels ?

4. Does it have to be the same latitude ? Is the place of the origin of the copper, the lead and of the gold known ?

In the exhibition in Haale/Saale the sky disc, sun wagon of Trundholm and other things can be seen. (April 2005, 6,00 Euro)

With best wishes
Martin aus Aschersleben (16.11.2004)

The sky disc : I'm fascinated. It's a great treasure which can't be estimated yet.
Ursula Baumung (26.11.2004)

I think the bark isn't a ship. It looks much like a rainbow. The bark doesn't look like an Egytpian ship. I think that assumption is a bit far fetched.
With best wishes


I'd like to tell you my personal interpretation of the sky disc. I sent my interpretation to various newspapers on 15.10.2004 which was published on 26.10 in Frankfurter Rundschau.

The comment of Prof. W. Schlosser to your interpretation that there was no Polar Star surprised me because the star was near the pole that was most probably used for orientation. It made a circle around the pole. This could be the six stars on the disc.

W.Kampfmeier's interpretation

With best wishes
Wolfgang Kampfmeier (16.11.2004)

Dear Sir/Madame,
After reading the documentation on the Nebra disc we are quite convinced that the disc described in the Finnish Kalevala eepos as the SAMPO. This has been a riddle that has been puzzling a large number of scholars. If you read the poem 10 of the Kalevala (there is a recent new translation to German) you will see that the interpretation you and others present on the usage of Nebra disc coincide extremely well with the Kalevala's thounds of years old oral descriptions..

With best regards,
Risto Orava, Finland (17.12.2005)

I think he disc is a fraud not yet proven. It should be proven that the disc is real. Up to now the disc hasn't been examined by an independent expert. The restauration of disc is strange. Why wasn't it kept the way it was found ? A copy and a reconstruction is ok.

Hallknecht (28.12.2004)

P.S. If you're not agreeing with everything....well I'll hope you at least have fun with my grammer :-)

Please read everything critically as all opinions expressed here are personal. If you have a different one, tell me !