An online event with BU archaeologists and chaired by the British Museum will explore what people 4,500–3,000 years ago thought of the cosmos, their place in it and why this mattered to them.
BU’s Professor Timothy Darvill OBE and other archaeologists will join the event chaired by the British Museum’s Dr Jill Cook, and the discussion will explore some of the potential meanings encapsulated in the monuments. Professor Darvill, who has undertaken pioneering research into the history and development of Stonehenge and other related Neolithic monuments, will focus on how late Neolithic people embedded a calendar into the sarsen structures at Stonehenge. He'll explore where the idea of such a calendar might have come from, how it might have worked and why one might have been needed.
Timothy said: “Stonehenge is one of those sites that naturally takes our eyes heavenwards and makes us think about how people living here 4,000 years ago made sense of the sky and the movements of the celestial bodies. Was Stonehenge built as a working model of the cosmos?”
BU has worked on projects at the UK’s most famous landmark, Stonehenge, for 25 years and has helped to unearth some of the mysteries of the ancient stone circle.
Professor Darvill will be joined by Professor Dr Harald Meller, Director of the State Museum of Prehistory at Halle, Germany, to discuss the importance of the Nebra Sky Disc to our understanding of the imagination and concepts of those living some 3,600 years ago. The scientific findings about the Nebra Sky Disc make it a key find in European prehistory, astronomy and early religious history. Recent research on the object itself and on the early Bronze Age in central Germany point to a far-reaching trade and communication network and provide exciting insights into the social structure of early Bronze Age society in Central Germany.
The event is taking place online on Thursday 3 March at 5.30pm.