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09.12.2020

The Sun Chariot, Trundholm

Solar wagon, is a Nordic bronze age artifact found in Denmark. It is an image of a solar chariot, a bronze horse statue and a large bronze disk, which are placed on a device with spokes.

The sculpture was found without any - or accompanying objects in 1902 in the peat bogs at Trundholm in Odsherred in the north - west of Zealand. Now it is in the collection of the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen .

The horse stands on a bronze rod, supported by four wheels. The rod under the horse is connected to a disk, which is supported by two wheels. All wheels have four spokes . The product is cast by melting wax .

The entire object has a size (width, height, depth) of approximately 54 cm × 35 cm × 29 cm (21 inches × 14 inches × 11 inches). 

The disc is approximately 25 cm (9.8 in) in diameter. It is gilded on one side only, on the right (if you look at the horse from behind). It consists of two bronze discs connected by an outer bronze ring, with a thin sheet of gold applied on one side. Then the discs were decorated with punches and incisors with zones of concentric circles motifs with strips of zigzag ornament between the edges. The gold side has an additional outer zone, which can represent the rays, as well as an area with concentric circles connected by winding strips, which "instead of leaking in one direction, progress as dance steps, twice forward and once backward. The main features of the horse are also decorated with rich decoration.

The two sides of the disk were interpreted as evidence of the belief that the Sun moves through the sky from east to west during the day, presents its bright side to Earth and returns from west to east at night, when the Dark Side is presented to Earth. Continued movement around the globe will give the same result. It is believed that the chariot was pulled during religious rituals to demonstrate the Sun's movement in the sky.

The sculpture is dated by the National Museum around 1400 BC, although other dates were suggested. It was discovered before the dating of pollen was developed, which would allow for a more confident date.

The model of the spoked wheeled horse-drawn carriage, which appeared in Northern Europe at such an early stage, is surprising; it is not expected to appear until the late Bronze Age, which ranges from 1100 BC to 550 BC.

Klavs Randsborg, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen, pointed out that the sum of the number of spirals in each circle of the disk, multiplied by the number of circles in which they are, is counted from the middle. (1x1 + 2x8 + 3x20 + 4x25), a total of 177, which is very close to the number of days in the six synodic months, only 44 minutes by 2.8 seconds each.

The synodic cycle is the time that passes between two consecutive conjunctions of an object in the sky, such as a specific star with the Sun. This is the time that passes before the object reappears at the same point in the sky when observed from Earth, so it is an obvious orbital period observed from Earth.

He claims that it demonstrates that the disk was designed by a person with some astronomical knowledge and that the sculpture could function as a calendar.

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