More than 180,000 visitors have seen the Nebra Sky Disc at The World of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum in London. But before it fascinates visitors again in October in the permanent exhibition of the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle, it can now be admired from the comfort of your own sofa in the eMuseum (www.emuseum-himmelswege.de).
The interactive virtual museum not only looks at the famous sky disc, but also embeds it in the “Heavenly Paths”, which, in addition to the State Museum, have been touristic since last year, including Arche Nebra, the dolmen goddess of Langeneichstädt, the Goseck solar observatory and the Pömmelte ring sanctuary connect and thus make it possible to experience a unique cultural landscape in Saxony-Anhalt.
The eMuseum is not a virtual showcase exhibition, but provides explanatory texts, photos, maps, satellite images and videos for each site. The sky disk is “read” in detail, that is, the representations on the more than 3,600-year-old disk are interpreted in excerpts, so that the virtual visitor can easily understand the meaning of this disk.
The heart of the virtual museum are the “ArchaeoStories”, which tell multimedia stories about the sky disk and the heavenly paths. The information on the sky disk is divided into individual “basics”, with the facts being shown in detail. In the Forged Sky chapter, the symbols are explained in an interactive 3D model.
“The Hunt for the Sky Disk” traces the adventurous story of discovery, and “Reaching for the Stars” explains the astronomical significance of this world’s first depiction of the sky. “The burial equipment for a starry sky” shows the find situation in a 3D representation, which can be viewed from all angles by holding down the mouse button.
By clicking on individual points on the picture, the grave goods such as swords, axes and bracelets can be highlighted and viewed individually. “The wide world in the heart of Europe” tells of two journeys to the Mediterranean region, during which knowledge of astronomy may have been acquired – an early connection between Orient and Occident.
The dolmen goddess of Langeneichstädt is also explained using a 3D model, which is very helpful for the untrained eye given the highly abstract depiction on the menhir statue.
In the second major chapter “Dig Deeper” the other sites of the “Heavenly Paths” are explained: the Nebra site, the Goseck solar observatory, the Dolmen Goddess site and the ring sanctuary of Pömmelte, which is the same size as the Stonehenge sanctuary. In the respective chapters, the research history, maps and plans, finds and findings are briefly presented and reference is made to further literature.
In a download area there is a poster exhibition that you can print out (or just read) as well as coloring sheets for children. This material is aimed primarily at school classes. The eMuseum is easy to browse, you can quickly find your way around and it is very good for preparing for or following up on a visit to the original sites. The museum is gradually being supplemented and expanded, so that it is worth visiting again.