Sunday, March 31, 2013

Free Candy Day!

While you were sitting idly in Church, I was learning about Bronze Age Astronomy while waiting on my laundry.
In 1999 some looters in Germany came across one of the most amazing archaeological finds in recent history, and then wrapped it in a towel with the intent of trying to sell it to the highest bidder. A few years later, that "bidder" was a Swiss Archaeologist named Harald Meller who had tipped off authorities and helped coordinate a sting operation to arrest some of the thieves and obtain the artifact for himself to study. Dr Meller had no idea how this would change everything we know and understand about "how we believe"

THIS is what's commonly known as the Nebra Disk, it's both a calendar AND an ancient religious "document" about the size of a lunch-plate.

The sun and moon images pretty much explain themselves, but what are the curved shapes on the edges, you ask? According to historians and scientists in Europe, many of whom originally thought the Nebra Disk was a fake, the thick band on the far right is a solar calendar placed at almost exactly 82 Degrees. In ancient Germany, the difference in where the sun would have risen between Summer and Winter is 82 Degrees.

The striped "arc" on the bottom is widely believed to be a symbol of a boat. It's a widely known fact that ancient European cultures associated boats with spiritual journeys and the movements of deities, this belief was widely held by European societies even long before the Vikings. There's also the ancient Egyptians who believed that a boat carried the sleeping sun-god Ra to a safe place during the night until he could be "risen" in the morning.

"I'm on a mutha-fukkn' BOAT!"

Essentially, the Nebra Disk may very well have been the world's earliest known portable ministry tool: It was elaborate, accurate, and small enough for any traveling sage to carry with him and demonstrate it's "knowledge" to wherever he traveled, instead of making lay-people of the time risk their lives journeying all over Europe to commune with their gods (but people still do this even today: I.E., Mecca)

So what makes the Nebra Disk so special in terms of ancient faith and belief? Instead of high-tailing it to places like Stonehenge or any other monument to observe the seasons, the Nebra Disk made it possible for Bronze Age peoples in central Europe to do this literally at home. Ancient Europe, previously thought to be little more than warring tribes while Greece and Egypt built palaces and cities, apparently had a thriving and active (but bloody) religious society.

Fast forward a few thousand years, replace the bronze disk with a written language, you pretty much have a Bible, Koran, etc...

So when you get right down to it not only is the story of a "risen god" nothing new, technically neither are door-to-door missionaries. Only instead of focusing on winning converts, the idea may have been to organize a farming culture into an organized society (checkmate, Mormons!) In truth I don't know for sure, I'm not a professional historian nor a scientist. Many experts still can't seem to agree what the Nebra Disk's intended purpose was, as amazing a find for it's time as it is.

So next time you hear some well-groomed little punk ramble on about how amazing it is that "He Is Risen" and points the original source to his favorite story-book, feel free to point out his folly and whip out (a more accurate and official assessment) of the Nebra Disk.

But hey, at least we get a basket of jelly-beans out of it, right?

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