The earliest genuine depiction of the cosmos ever to have been discovered embossed in gold on a 3,600-year-old Bronze Age disc. The disc bearing elaborate gold leaf images of the sun, 32 stars, and a crescent moon, was found at the site of a Bronze Age camp near the town of Nebra in east Germany. The disc, valued at £6.4 million, was uncovered with a help of metal detectors. The site where it was discovered functioned around 1600bc as an astronomical observatory. Photographs of the disc were published in Germany last week
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. They show a round shield-like bronze plate covered in verdigris as a result of being buried underground for thousands of years. Yet the 12-inch diameter disc clearly bears the i
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The plate is also studded with 32 stars, but most significant according to the archaeologists, is a group of objects thought to be the Pleiades star cluster, which appear at the time of the autumn equinox. A curved scythe-like object at its base is thought to represent the “sun ship” that the pharoahs believed pulled the stars through the heavens.