Interesting Sky Disc Deciphered

Interesting Sky Disc Deciphered

This is a discussion on Interesting Sky Disc Deciphered within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Bronze Age Sky Disc Deciphered 3,600 years ago, this sky disc was used as an astronomical clock A group of German scientists has deciphered the ...

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  1. #1
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    Interesting Sky Disc Deciphered

    Bronze Age Sky Disc Deciphered
    3,600 years ago, this sky disc was used as an astronomical clock


    A group of German scientists has deciphered the meaning of one of the most spectacular archeological discoveries in recent years: The mystery-shrouded sky disc of Nebra was used as an advanced astronomical clock.
    The purpose of the 3,600 year-old sky disc of Nebra, which caused a world-wide sensation when it was brought to the attention of the German public in 2002, is no longer a matter of speculation.

    A group of German scholars who studied this archaeological gem has discovered evidence which suggests that the disc was used as a complex astronomical clock for the harmonization of solar and lunar calendars.

    "This is a clear expansion of what we knew about the meaning and function of the sky disc," said archeologist Harald Meller.

    A thirteenth month?

    Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The sky disc of Nebra was not all moonshineUnlike the solar calendar, which indicates the position of the earth as it revolves around the sun, the lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon. A lunar year is eleven days shorter than the solar year because 12 synodic months, or 12 returns of the moon to the new phase, take only 354 days.

    The sky disc of Nebra was used to determine if and when a thirteenth month -- the so-called intercalary month -- should be added to a lunar year to keep the lunar calendar in sync with the seasons.

    "The functioning of this clock was probably known to a very small group of people," Meller said.

    Bronze Age science

    Bildunterschrift: A slice of prehistory for romantic sky gazersThe 32-centimeter-wide (seven-inch) bronze disc with gold-leaf appliqués representing the sun, the moon, and the stars is the oldest visual representation of the cosmos known to date. A cluster of seven dots has previously been interpreted as the Pleiades constellation as it appeared 3,600 years ago.

    The explanation of the disc's purpose sheds new light on the astronomical knowledge and abilities of the Bronze Age people, who used a combination of solar and lunar calendars as important indicators for agricultural seasons and passage of time.

    "The sensation lies in the fact that the Bronze Age people managed to harmonize the solar and lunar years. We never thought they would have managed that," Meller said.

    According to astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser of the Rurh University at Bochum, the Bronze Age sky gazers already knew what the Babylonians would describe only a thousand years later.

    "Whether this was a local discovery, or whether the knowledge came from afar, is still not clear," Schlosser said.

    From Saxony-Anhalt to Babylon

    Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The sky disc of Nebra was found near Europe's oldest observatory in GoseckEver since the disc was discovered, archaeologists and astronomers have been puzzled by the shape of the moon as it appears on the disc.

    "I wanted to explain the thickness of the crescent on the sky disc of Nebra because it is not a new moon phase," said Hamburg astronomer Ralph Hansen.

    In his quest to explain why the Nebra astronomers created a sky map with a four or five days old moon on it, Hansen consulted the "Mul-Apin" collection of Babylonian documents from the 7th and 6th centuries B.C.

    These cuneiform writings represent, according to Hansen, a compendium of "astronomic knowledge from the earliest times." They also contain a calculation rule for the crescent that looks strikingly similar to the one from Nebra.

    According to the ancient Babylonian rule, a thirteenth month should only be added to the lunar calendar only when one sees the constellation of the moon and the Pleiades exactly as they appear on the Nebra sky disc.

    Knowledge comes and goes

    Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The sky disc of Nebra was first discovered by treasure huntersThe Bronze Age astronomers would hold the Nebra clock against the sky and observe the position of the celestial objects. The intercalary month was inserted when what they saw in the sky corresponded to the map on the disc they were holding in their hands. This happened every two to three years.

    But the German researchers also discovered that in the 400 years that the disc was in use, its status had evolved. The perforations on the edge of the object as well as a ship that was later added to the map suggest that the knowledge about the lunar calendar's shortage of days was lost along the way.

    "That means, that in the end the disk became a cult object," Meller said.

    The disc was found in 1999 by two previously convicted treasure looters. It was seized by the authorities in 2002 along with other Bronze Age objects in a police operation in Switzerland.


  2. #2
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    It's amazing the capabilities displayed in an artifact such as this. The "ancients", from Nebra to the Mayans,etc. had a fantastic understanding of certain parts of the universe around them.

    I still get confused whether the moon is "old" or "new"! LOL.

    Thanks for sharing, QK!

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    It is often surprising just how many savvy folks there were all that time ago - some where ahead of their time in as much as, their knowledge far exceeded the available technology.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Can i get the Cliff notes version and in laymans terms

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    Bud:

    Basically back then people used to tell the date by both a lunar and solar based calendar. The trouble is that much like our own calendar, adding a little bit of extra time to the calendar is necessary every few years to keep it "on". RE: Leap Day.

    In this case because they tried to reconcile the solar and lunar years, they had to add a whole "month" every few years. This disc was a calculation device used to see when it was necessary to do this to keep the solar and lunar calendars reconciled.

    The Mayans had an incredible ability to construct highly accurate calendars and were able to keep accurate time too, an ability that honestly went well beyond most of the ancient world. They also had unparralleled computational ability. See the Mayans had the notion of zero. The Romans didn't... Roman engineers had to consult long tables to figure out what 6 x 7 was. Roman numerals are an inferior mathematical notation.

    The Egyptians were such good mathematicians they figured out the world was round thousands of years before ol' Columbus came about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White
    Can i get the Cliff notes version and in laymans terms
    Old timey calender that works.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Bud:

    Basically back then people used to tell the date by both a lunar and solar based calendar. The trouble is that much like our own calendar, adding a little bit of extra time to the calendar is necessary every few years to keep it "on". RE: Leap Day.

    In this case because they tried to reconcile the solar and lunar years, they had to add a whole "month" every few years. This disc was a calculation device used to see when it was necessary to do this to keep the solar and lunar calendars reconciled.

    The Mayans had an incredible ability to construct highly accurate calendars and were able to keep accurate time too, an ability that honestly went well beyond most of the ancient world. They also had unparralleled computational ability. See the Mayans had the notion of zero. The Romans didn't... Roman engineers had to consult long tables to figure out what 6 x 7 was. Roman numerals are an inferior mathematical notation.

    The Egyptians were such good mathematicians they figured out the world was round thousands of years before ol' Columbus came about.

    All right thats somewhat better .. Plain english is my language

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    And the ancient Greeks had a intircate clockwork device that calculated the tides and other data needed to navagate the then known seas. Once lost it took untill DaVinchi to reinvent the gear system later used in modern clocks.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Forgive me QK, but when I first saw the picture I thought it was a joke. Looked like someone had rolled out some dough, colored it, then did a bad smiley face on it.
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    Talking

    "then did a bad smiley face on it."
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    A group of German scientists has deciphered the meaning
    Inspired by another thread: "German engineering in da house, yo!"
    "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."
    - Senator Padmé Amidala, "Revenge of the Sith"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Bud:

    Basically back then people used to tell the date by both a lunar and solar based calendar. The trouble is that much like our own calendar, adding a little bit of extra time to the calendar is necessary every few years to keep it "on". RE: Leap Day.

    In this case because they tried to reconcile the solar and lunar years, they had to add a whole "month" every few years. This disc was a calculation device used to see when it was necessary to do this to keep the solar and lunar calendars reconciled.

    The Mayans had an incredible ability to construct highly accurate calendars and were able to keep accurate time too, an ability that honestly went well beyond most of the ancient world. They also had unparralleled computational ability. See the Mayans had the notion of zero. The Romans didn't... Roman engineers had to consult long tables to figure out what 6 x 7 was. Roman numerals are an inferior mathematical notation.

    The Egyptians were such good mathematicians they figured out the world was round thousands of years before ol' Columbus came about.
    So does that mean "Can i get the Cliff notes version and in laymans terms" or not? I'd take a copy too. Although, good synopsis, Euc!

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    Important:

    Buy your Evil Black Rifle before the Mayan Calender sez the Earth is going to end folks!!!

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    People of that age were just as inteligent as we are, they just had a smaller knowledge base. "We stand on the shoulders of giants" Einstein or Bohr I think.
    Pax
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    WorldPax

    That is absolutely true.
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