HOW did they KNOW ???

from The Burning Platform

I’m posting this amazing story with this question in my mind: “What do we REALLY know about humanity’s  distant past?”.

I would suggest “virtually nothing that is accurate”.  Hell … we can’t even get an accurate reading of recent history, such as, what a tyrant Honest Abe was, or even more recently, why that total sonuvabitch, Wilson, led us into WWI. What hope is there for truly knowing what transpired 6,000 years ago?

I recall reading a book about maps whereby the author stated that there are maps published 16th century which show Antarctica and Northern Greenland—lands no explorer of that time could have reached. The maps show an accurate coastline that is now under a mile of ice … a coastline verified as true only due to modern RADAR technology.  These maps, in turn, are based on maps made by Alexander The Great, around 350BC.

Is the “myth” of Atlantis based on actual fact? I think so. At a minimum, it sure is possible. Was the Great Pyramid at Giza built by an advanced culture using technology we don’t even know about?  Possibly.  How do we know they did not?

Soooo … here comes this amazing artifact from about 1,600BC. Try to enjoy the read, and the implications.

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Incredible discovery of the oldest depiction of the universe almost lost to the black market

The design on this disc might look like a six-year-old’s scribbles, but in reality, it’s one of the most sophisticated and influential artifacts of the Bronze Age.

And it might never have been discovered if not for a couple of illegal treasure hunters who dug it up and sold it on the black market.

Called the Nebra sky disc, named for the town where it was found in 1999, the artifact has been dated back to 1600 BC. It’s thought to have been forged during the European Bronze Age, a period between 3200 and 600 BC.

The disc’s discovery stunned archaeologists, who thought of the Bronze Age as brutal, uncivilized times of killing and little else — most artifacts we’ve found are swords and other weapons designed for battle.

The disc is about one foot across and weighs nearly five pounds. When it was first crafted, it would have shone a brilliant golden brown because the disc itself is made from bronze. But over time, the bronze corroded to green.

The symbols are made of gold and didn’t corrode. Although experts do not agree on what each symbol represents, for example the full circle could be the sun, full moon, or some type of eclipse, the overall message is clear that the symbols represent celestial objects.

This disc meant that the people of the Bronze Age were not an uncivilized culture that only crafted weapons for killing. Instead, the people who lived at this time had an intellectual understanding of the sky.

Police-Led Sting For The Find Of The Century

For millennia, the disc was buried in the Seigelroda Forest in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt near a town called Nebra. But in 1999, two men, Henry Westphal and Mario Renner, were hunting for buried treasure in the forest when their metal detectors led them to an underground stash. They uncovered two bronze swords, two hatchets, a chisel, fragments of bracelets, and the beautifully decorated disc.

4tuneQkie on Flickr

According to state law in Saxony-Anhalt, all archaeological artifacts are the property of the state. Westphal and Renner had no license to dig for artifacts of any kind, and no legal right to the collection. But that didn’t stop them from selling everything they found on the black market.

Over the next few years the entire collection became a well-known commodity and was traded multiple times on the black market selling for up to one million Deutsch Mark (roughly $590,000). Then, in 2002, archaeologist Herald Meller arranged a meeting with the current holders to purchase the disc, alone, for 700,000 DM ($350,000). But the meeting was not what it seemed.

Meller was collaborating with the state police to recover the priceless artifacts, and within seconds of the dealers’ reveal of the disc, the police swooped in and arrested them. Eventually, the disc was traced back to Westphal and Renner who were sentenced to jail time.

Spotting A Fake

Archeologists were stunned when they finally got a good, close look at the artifact. The Nebra sky disc was unlike any other artifact of its time. Some archaeologists thought the disc was too incredible to be real.

“When I first heard about the Nebra Disc I thought it was a joke, indeed I thought it was a forgery,” Richard Harrison told the BBC in a documentary of the disc. Harrison is a professor of European prehistory at the University of Bristol and expert on the culture that inhabited Germany during the Bronze Age. “Because it’s such an extraordinary piece that it wouldn’t surprise any of us that a clever forger had cooked this up in a backroom and sold it for a lot of money.”

The disc was sent to the laboratory of Heinrich Wunderlich at the Museum of Halle in Eastern Germany. Heinrich specializes in dating artifacts from the Bronze age. If the disc was a fake, he could easily find out by studying the greenish bronze covering the disc.

Bronze disease is the corrosive process that occurs when chloride molecules, such as chloride salts in soil, interact with bronze (or other copper-based materials). The result is a chemical reaction producing microscopic crystals that look either white or green. Over time, these crystals grow larger, which means that Wunderlich could easily spot a forgery by looking at the size of the crystals.

When he looked under the microscope, he saw large crystals, which resembled large bubbles, shown in the image below, that spoke to the disc’s authenticity. It was no fake.

“When I saw down the microscope, I saw structure which was like bubbles,” Wunderlich told BBC. “This can not be made artificially. You can’t fake time.

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