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Bronze Age observatory to be rebuilt in Germany
South Africa Broadcasting Corporation ^ | 9/10/2002 | SABC News

Posted on 09/15/2002 3:17:14 PM PDT by SteveH

Bronze Age observatory to be rebuilt in Germany

September 10, 2002, 20:15

Archaeologists hope to rebuild as a tourist attraction a Bronze Age observatory where ancient priests in Germany divined the right days to sow and harvest crops 3 600 years ago.

They said the site on a hill in the middle of a forest is the world's oldest surviving astronomical observatory. The location has been kept secret so artefacts robbers will not disturb it, but the media are to be granted a first glimpse September 25.

Treasure hunters stumbled on the site four years ago and dug up the world's oldest astronomical map, a 32-centimetre bronze disc, but the first scientific excavation of the site only began last month.

Harald Meller, head of the Halle Prehistoric Museum, said the dig had shown the structure was probably built of logs, not stone. Dating of artefacts suggested the ancients used it for more than 1 000 years. "The structure and the map told them the date, which they had to know to sow and harvest crops," said Meller. "Here they could track the sun's variation from the winter to the summer solstice."

The circular site, 200 metres across, has features that line up with rising points of the sun. The circle, somewhere near Nebra, 180 kilometres southwest of Berlin, had a wall and ditch around it. The site's significance for world history is such that a replica observatory is being planned to show visitors how it worked.

Since August 20, archaeologists have found more than 100 artefacts including half a ring with a spiral decoration. It has been dated to 2 700 years ago. "It would have been worn on the neck," said Meller. The bronze-and-gold map of the heavens was seized by Swiss police in February in a sting operation. Two German treasure hunters face charges of failing to declare treasure trove. The stash included two swords, two axes, a chisel and a set of arm-rings.

The identity of the Bronze Age people of Europe has been lost in the mists of time, with only their hut sites, graves and treasures left. It is impossible to guess the language they spoke. - Sapa/DPA


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeoastronomy; archaeology; astronomy; bronzeage; germany; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; nebraskydisc; observatory

1 posted on 09/15/2002 3:17:14 PM PDT by SteveH
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To: blam
Bump.
2 posted on 09/15/2002 3:43:51 PM PDT by LostTribe
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To: SteveH
Damned clever, these krauts.
3 posted on 09/15/2002 4:18:29 PM PDT by RLK
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To: SteveH
bump
4 posted on 09/15/2002 8:31:14 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

5 posted on 04/19/2005 11:04:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Monday, April 11, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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To: SteveH

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
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6 posted on 12/04/2009 7:45:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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