POST 214 – August 22, 2015
In this Post 214:
-The Nebra Sky Disk
-Quotation: Albert Camus; Darwin
-Pictures: Graffiti in Montreal; Groups: from Alex Cao-Thanh; Chiaro di Luna
NEBRA SKY DISK
A few weeks ago (July 2015) masters Edio Tue-Chu and Yva Tue-Y, and Dr. Marcella Catoni have visited the State Museum of History in Halle (Germany). From there we received a beautiful postcard with the image of the NEBRA SKY DISK (see picture).
I found on the web/wikipedia the following details: the Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter and a weight of 2.2 kg, with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes. The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, in Germany, and associatively dated to c. 1600 BC. The Nebra sky disk features the oldest concrete depiction of the cosmos worldwide. In June 2013 it was included in the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register and termed "one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century."
The disk, two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel, and fragments of spiral bracelets were discovered in 1999 by Henry Westphal and Mario Renner while they were treasure-hunting with a metal detector. Archaeological artefacts are the property of the state in Saxony-Anhalt. The hunters were operating without a license and knew their activity constituted looting and was illegal. They damaged the disk with their spade and destroyed parts of the site. The next day, Westphal and Renner sold the entire hoard for 31,000 DM to a dealer in Cologne. The hoard changed hands within Germany over the next two years, being sold for up to a million DM. By 2001 knowledge of its existence became public. In February 2002 the state archaeologist Harald Meller acquired the disk in a police-led sting operation in Basel from a couple who had put it on the black market for 700,000 DM. The original finders were eventually traced. In a plea bargain, they led police and archaeologists to the discovery site. Archaeologists opened a dig at the site and uncovered evidence that supports the looters' claims. There are traces of bronze artefacts in the ground, and the soil at the site matches soil samples found clinging to the artefacts.
The two looters received sentences of four months and ten months, respectively, in September 2003. They appealed, but the appeals court actually raised their sentences to six and twelve months, respectively.
First of all I want to thank, Marcella, Yva and Edio for having sent me this nice and instructive postcard.
Certainly, with more and more contributions as we have recently received, our learning model (Vietchi Collaborative Learning and Teaching) will grow faster and will bring all of us to a much wider horizon than the traditional boundaries of learning. As always, your contribution, no matter it could be a spontaneous letter, a picture taken anywhere, or a brief report, is much appreciated.
The NEBRA SKY DISK, a really beautiful piece of art dated back to 1600 BC, cause us to think about the level of technology of these people and the oldest depiction of the cosmos worldwide at that so distant time. Seeing this disk on the postcard made me think to the prehistoric monument Stonehenge in England. Possibly it is the oldest calculator to chart the movements of the sun, moon, and planets. This astronomical observatory was built by Indo-Europeans who invaded the island, according to James Tracer in his book The People’s Chronology.
I consider Stonehenge a great site among a number of important sacred places in the world you should visit before you die.
Graffiti in Montreal
-from Chiaro di Luna (Italy)
-from Alex Cao-Thanh (France)