Archaeologists Discover Astronomical Site in Germany

Archaeologists have confirmed that a site near Berlin, Germany may hold the world's oldest astronomical map. On a mountain top 180 km southwest of Berlin, Germany, archaeologists have discovered a Bronze Age treasure trove including "the oldest concrete representation of the stars in the world." The bronze and gold disc measures 32 cm and clearly shows the Brocken, the highest mountain in Northern Germany as well as 32 stars. The identity of the craftsmen is still a mystery.

Experts in pre-history can only guess at the identity of the people who made the "Nebra Disc" 3,600 years ago. The site was once surrounded by a wooden palisade and defensive ditches, with the ringwall situated so that the sun would set behind the Brocken on June 22, possibly contributing to German mythology which pinpoints the area as a fabled meeting site for witches. The scientists working on the site believe it to be an ancient observatory which was used for agricultural reasons.

The site, which will include nearby graves and barrows, is set to become a tourist attraction in the future.