Europe's oldest prosthetic LIMB will go on display at British Museum

Europe’s oldest prosthetic LIMB will go on display as part of a new Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museumand experts say the 3,500-year-old hand may have doubled as a KNIFE

  • Mysterious hand that is believed to be Europe’s oldest prosthetic limb will go on display in the UK for first time
  • Artefact, which experts say may also have doubled as a knife, was found near Lake Biel in Switzerland in 2017
  • ‘Completely astonishing objectis made from bronze with gold cuff and dates to between 1,500 e 1,400 AVANTI CRISTO
  • The hand will go on display from Thursday as part of ‘World of Stonehengeexhibition at the British Museum
  • A mysterious hand that was created around 3,500 years ago and is believed to be Europe’s oldest prosthetic limb will go on display in the UK for the first time this week.

    The artefact, which experts think may also have doubled as a knife, was discovered in western Switzerland in 2017.

    It is made from bronze with a gold cuff and dates to between 1,500 e 1,400 AVANTI CRISTO.

    The hand has been on display only once before, making a brief appearance in Germania, but will now be part of the ‘World of Stonehengeexhibition at the British Museum.

    Detectorists found the hand buried in a human grave near Lake Biel, along with a hair ornament, bronze dagger and cloak pin.

    Neil Wilkin, curator at the British Museum, said it was most likely to have been used as a prosthetic limb, although some experts have disputed this because the human remains had decayed too much to confirm that it fitted the individual.

    'Astonishing object': A mysterious hand that was created around 3,500 years ago and is believed to be Europe's oldest prosthetic limb will go on display in the UK for the first time this week

    ‘Astonishing object’: A mysterious hand that was created around 3,500 years ago and is believed to be Europe’s oldest prosthetic limb will go on display in the UK for the first time this week

    The artefact (nella foto), which experts say may also have doubled as a knife, was discovered in western Switzerland in 2017

    The artefact (nella foto), which experts say may also have doubled as a knife, was discovered in western Switzerland in 2017

    WHAT ARE THE KEY ARTEFACTS IN THE STONEHENGE EXHIBITION?

    Europe’s oldest prosthetic limb

    The mysterious hand, which experts say may also have doubled as a knife, was discovered in western Switzerland in 2017.

    It is made from bronze with a gold cuff and dates to between 1,500 e 1,400 AVANTI CRISTO.

    World’s oldest surviving sky map

    Unearthed by looters in Germania nel 1999, the 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc is inlaid with gold symbols that are believed to represent the moon, sole, solstices and stars.

    It was found near the town of Nebra in Saxony-Anhalt.

    Experts believe the sky disc was used as a calculator to help its Bronze Age owners predict the best times for sowing and harvesting in the spring and autumn.

    Burton Agnes chalk drum

    The 5,000-year-old chalk drum, which bears intricate circular etchings, was found alongside the ancient burial of three children near the village of Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire.

    It is decorated with symbols that are believed to represent the sun and is only the fourth surviving example of its kind.

    The drum is believed to have been placed in the grave during the first construction phase of Stonehenge.

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    ‘It’s a completely astonishing object – we’ve never seen anything like it,’ Dr Wilkin told the Telegrafo.

    He said the hand may also have functioned as a weapon because of its sharp, flat fingers, while an alternative theory is that it could have been a drinking vessel inspired by Mesopotamian culture.

    ‘The fingers have a sharpness to them and, curiously, it doesn’t show a fist that’s clenched,’ Dr Wilkin added.

    ‘It shows the fingers protruding and, even if they weren’t used as blades, they have that appearance.

    He also believes the hand, with its gold cuff and detailed engraving, belonged to someone of high status, detto: ‘It’s so bespoke looking it suggests that someone’s had the power or the status to commission something that is quite unique.

    Experts say the engraving appears to be solar artwork, which would place it within a broader, shared European culture that revered the sun.

    The limb, which dates to a time in the Middle Bronze Age where an increase in continental trade — especially involving certain metals — led to huge cultural change, will go on display as part of an exhibition which focuses on the decline of Stonehenge as a significant monument.

    Durante questo periodo, greater emphasis was placed on material objects as a sign of social status, which shifted power away from ancestral monuments.

    The public will be able to see the limb, along with the world’s oldest surviving map of the sky and a ‘talismanicchalk drum, da giovedì.

    The 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc and the 5,000-year-old Burton Agnes chalk drum are just two of 430 objects and artefacts that will go display in the World of Stonehenge exhibition, which will run until July at the British Museum in Londra.

    Others include two gold hats and an ancient wooden monument called ‘Seahenge’ che risale a 4,000 anni.

    Unearthed by looters in Germania nel 1999, the 12-inch sky disc is inlaid with gold symbols that are believed to represent the moon, sole, solstices and stars.

    The chalk drum, which bears intricate circular etchings, was found alongside the ancient burial of three children near the village of Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire.

    According to the British Museum, nearly two-thirds of the objects going on display in the exhibition will be loans, with artefacts coming from 35 lenders across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Francia, Italia, Germania, Denmark and Switzerland.

    The majority of the items have never been seen in the UK before.

    The Nebra Sky Disc was found near the town of Nebra in Saxony-Anhalt, in the east of Germany, by looters Mario Renner and Henry Westphal.

    The pair were treasure hunting without a license and ended up destroying parts of the archaeological site, as well as damaging the disc with their spade.

    They sold the disc alongside bronze swords, hatchets, a chisel an bracelet fragments that they found with it to a dealer in Cologne for 31,000 Deutsche Mark (around £10,000).

    The world's oldest surviving map of the sky and a 'talismanic' chalk drum have gone on display as part of a major new exhibition. Nella foto: The 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc, which is going on display at the British Museum

    The world’s oldest surviving map of the sky and a ‘talismanicchalk drum have gone on display as part of a major new exhibition. Nella foto: The 3,600-year-old Nebra Sky Disc, which is going on display at the British Museum

    The 5,000-year-old Burton Agnes chalk drum is one of 430 objects and artefacts that are visible to the public from Thursday at the British Museum in London. They are part of the World of Stonehenge exhibition, which runs until July and tells the story of the famous Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire

    The 5,000-year-old Burton Agnes chalk drum is one of 430 objects and artefacts that are visible to the public from Thursday at the British Museum in London. They are part of the World of Stonehenge exhibition, which runs until July and tells the story of the famous Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire

    Seahenge was nicknamed the Stonehenge of the Sea after it re-emerged on a Norfolk beach in 1998. It consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts

    Seahenge was nicknamed the Stonehenge of the Sea after it re-emerged on a Norfolk beach in 1998. It consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts

    The World of Stonehenge exhibition tells the story of the 3,500-year-old Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire (nella foto sopra)

    The World of Stonehenge exhibition tells the story of the 3,500-year-old Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire (nella foto sopra)

    The pair were arrested in the bar of the Hilton Hotel in Basel, Svizzera, after trying to sell the sky disc to the German state archaeologist for 700,000 DM (£217,391).

    Experts believe the sky disc was used as a calculator to help its Bronze Age owners predict the best times for sowing and harvesting in the spring and autumn.

    This interpretation is supported by the presence of a cluster of seven stars, the Pleiades, which appear next to a full or new moon at these times.

    The Burton Agnes drum is decorated with symbols that are believed to represent the sun, is only the fourth surviving example of its kind and is the most intricately decorated.

    It was found buried above the head of the eldest child and is believed to have been placed in the grave during the first construction phase of Stonehenge — when the monument’s bluestones were being moved from west Wales to Salisbury Plain.

    It contains symbols similar to those found on pottery at the dwelling site of the builders who created Stonehenge, at Bulford, and could cast light on how communities lived at the time.

    The headgear going on display includes the Schifferstadt gold hat (davanti) from Germany and the Avanton gold cone (indietro) from France

    The headgear going on display includes the Schifferstadt gold hat (davanti) from Germany and the Avanton gold cone (indietro) from France

    Seahenge's oak posts, some up to nine ft tall, form a 21ft-diameter circle around the upturned oak, creating a giant tree-like spectacle. A narrow entrance-way was built aligning to the rising midsummer sun and it is speculated the monument was used for ritual purposes

    Seahenge’s oak posts, some up to nine ft tall, form a 21ft-diameter circle around the upturned oak, creating a giant tree-like spectacle. A narrow entrance-way was built aligning to the rising midsummer sun and it is speculated the monument was used for ritual purposes

    A member of staff observes a gold cape dating from 1600-1900 BC from Mold, Flintshire, Galles, during the press preview for the new The World of Stonehenge exhibition at London's British Museum

    A member of staff observes a gold cape dating from 1600-1900 BC from Mold, Flintshire, Galles, during the press preview for the new The World of Stonehenge exhibition at London’s British Museum

    According to the British Museum, nearly two-thirds of the objects going on display in the exhibition will be loans, with artefacts coming from 35 lenders across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Francia, Italy, Germania, Denmark and Switzerland. Nella foto: A member of staff uses a brush whilst stood behind a standing stone carved in 2500 BC from Capo di PontItaliaaly

    According to the British Museum, nearly two-thirds of the objects going on display in the exhibition will be loans, with artefacts coming from 35 lenders across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Francia, Italia, Germania, Denmark and Switzerland. Nella foto: A member of staff uses a brush whilst stood behind a standing stone carved in 2500 BC from Capo di Ponte, Italia

    Animal bones in the form of a necklace found on Salisbury Plain, 2,100-1,900 AVANTI CRISTO. The World of Stonehenge exhibition runs until July

    Animal bones in the form of a necklace found on Salisbury Plain, 2,100-1,900 AVANTI CRISTO. The World of Stonehenge exhibition runs until July

    The British Museum already has three barrel-shaped cylinders made of solid chalk, dubbed the Folkton drums after their discovery in North Yorkshire in 1889.

    Seahenge was nicknamed the Stonehenge of the Sea after it re-emerged on a Norfolk beach in 1998.

    It consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts.

    The oak posts, some up to nine ft tall, form a 21ft-diameter circle around the upturned oak, creating a giant tree-like spectacle.

    A narrow entrance-way was built aligning to the rising midsummer sun and it is speculated the monument was used for ritual purposes.

    Dr Jennifer Wexler, project curator of the World of Stonehenge at the British Museum, disse: ‘If Stonehenge is one of the world’s most remarkable surviving ancient stone circles, then Seahenge is the equivalent in timber.

    The looters — who were treasure hunting without a license — destroyed parts of the archaeological site and damaged the disc with their spade. Nella foto: the iconography of the Nebra Sun Disc. Some of the interpretations are uncertain. According to expert analysis, the disc was constructed in four stages, which saw some of the stars moved around the disc

    The looters — who were treasure hunting without a license — destroyed parts of the archaeological site and damaged the disc with their spade. Nella foto: the iconography of the Nebra Sun Disc. Some of the interpretations are uncertain. According to expert analysis, the disc was constructed in four stages, which saw some of the stars moved around the disc

    A member of staff poses next to a gold broach from Shropshire, England which dates back to 1,000 AVANTI CRISTO. It is one of 430 objects that are now on display

    A member of staff poses next to a gold broach from Shropshire, England which dates back to 1,000 AVANTI CRISTO. It is one of 430 objects that are now on display

    Examples of tools carved by Neolithic Britons are seen on display at the British Museum on Monday, after the opening of the World of Stonehenge exhibition

    Examples of tools carved by Neolithic Britons are seen on display at the British Museum on Monday, after the opening of the World of Stonehenge exhibition

    A human skull showing healed blunt force trauma on the forehead. The skull is one of several examples of ancient human bones that are on display in the new exhibition

    A human skull showing healed blunt force trauma on the forehead. The skull is one of several examples of ancient human bones that are on display in the new exhibition

    Wooden carvings dating back to 1,200 BC that were found in Yorkshire. Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, disse: 'To understand the purpose of the great stone monument constructed on Salisbury Plain, it is essential to consider its contemporary world and the culture of its builders. We are delighted to be able to do this in this unprecedented exhibition'

    Wooden carvings dating back to 1,200 BC that were found in Yorkshire. Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, disse: ‘To understand the purpose of the great stone monument constructed on Salisbury Plain, it is essential to consider its contemporary world and the culture of its builders. We are delighted to be able to do this in this unprecedented exhibition

    The World of Stonehenge exhibition also features examples of ancient goldwork, such as the above gold bangles on display

    The World of Stonehenge exhibition also features examples of ancient goldwork, such as the above gold bangles on display

    The headgear going on display includes the Schifferstadt gold hat from Germany and the Avanton gold cone from France.

    It is the first time that either have been seen in Britain.

    They are decorated with elaborate solar motifs that reflect the religious importance of the sun during this era.

    The Schifferstadt hat, which was found in the German town of the same name in 1835, dates back to between 1400 e 1300 AVANTI CRISTO, whilst the Avanton cone – discovered near Avanton, Poitiers in 1844 – dates to between 1000 e 900 AVANTI CRISTO.

    Only two other examples of these hats are known to have survived.

    They served as headgear during ceremonies or rituals, and experts theorised that the original wearers may have believed that they gave them divine or otherworldly status.

    Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, disse: ‘To understand the purpose of the great stone monument constructed on Salisbury Plain, it is essential to consider its contemporary world and the culture of its builders.

    ‘We are delighted to be able to do this in this unprecedented exhibition.

    'Al di sopra di 430 exceptional objects are being brought together, objects which are the last and only testament of sophisticated and ingenious people, and we are grateful to all of the lenders who have made it possible.

    Il monumento di Stonehenge in piedi oggi è stata la fase finale di un progetto di costruzione in quattro parti che si è concluso 3,500 anni fa

    Stonehenge è uno dei monumenti preistorici più importanti della Gran Bretagna. La Stonehenge che si può vedere oggi è l'ultima tappa che è stata completata circa 3,500 anni fa.

    Secondo il sito web del monumento, Stonehenge è stata costruita in quattro fasi:

    Primo stadio: La prima versione di Stonehenge era un grande terrapieno o Henge, comprendente un fossato, banca e le buche di Aubrey, tutto probabilmente costruito intorno 3100 AVANTI CRISTO.

    I fori di Aubrey sono buche rotonde nel gesso, circa un metro (3.3 piedi) ampio e profondo, con sponde ripide e fondo piatto.

    Stonehenge (nella foto) è uno dei monumenti preistorici più importanti della Gran Bretagna

    Stonehenge (nella foto) è uno dei monumenti preistorici più importanti della Gran Bretagna

    Formano un cerchio intorno 86.6 metri (284 piedi) di diametro.

    Gli scavi hanno rivelato ossa umane cremate in parte del riempimento di gesso, ma i fori stessi probabilmente non erano fatti per essere usati come tombe, ma come parte di una cerimonia religiosa.

    Dopo questa prima fase, Stonehenge è stata abbandonata e lasciata intatta per più di 1,000 anni.

    Seconda fase: La seconda e più drammatica tappa di Stonehenge è iniziata intorno 2150 anni aC, quando circa 82 le pietre blu dei monti Preseli nel Galles sudoccidentale sono state trasportate nel sito. Si pensa che le pietre, alcuni dei quali pesano quattro tonnellate ciascuno, sono stati trascinati su rulli e slitte nelle acque di Milford Haven, dove venivano caricati sulle zattere.

    Sono stati trasportati sull'acqua lungo la costa meridionale del Galles e lungo i fiumi Avon e Frome, prima di essere trascinato di nuovo via terra vicino a Warminster e Wiltshire.

    La tappa finale del viaggio è stata principalmente sull'acqua, lungo il fiume Wylye fino a Salisbury, poi il Salisbury Avon ad ovest di Amesbury.

    Il viaggio è durato quasi 240 miglia, e una volta sul sito, le pietre erano disposte al centro per formare un doppio cerchio incompleto.

    Durante lo stesso periodo, l'ingresso originale è stato ampliato e sono state erette un paio di Heel Stones. La parte più vicina del viale, che collega Stonehenge con il fiume Avon, è stato costruito in linea con l'alba di mezza estate.

    Terza fase: La terza tappa di Stonehenge, che ha avuto luogo circa 2000 anni aC, visto l'arrivo delle pietre di sarsen (un tipo di arenaria), che erano più grandi delle pietre blu.

    Probabilmente sono stati portati dai Marlborough Downs (40 chilometri, o 25 miglia, a nord di Stonehenge).

    La più grande delle pietre di sarsen trasportate a Stonehenge pesa 50 tonnellate, e il trasporto via acqua non sarebbe stato possibile, quindi si sospetta che siano stati trasportati con slitte e funi.

    I calcoli hanno dimostrato che ci sarebbe voluto 500 uomini che usano corde di cuoio per tirare una fava, con un extra 100 gli uomini dovevano posare i rulli davanti alla slitta.

    Queste pietre erano disposte in un cerchio esterno con una corsa continua di architravi – supporti orizzontali.

    Dentro il cerchio, cinque triliti – strutture costituite da due pietre verticali e una terza trasversalmente ad architrave – sono stati disposti a ferro di cavallo, che si vede ancora oggi.

    Fase finale: Subito dopo si è svolta la quarta e ultima tappa 1500 anni aC, quando le pietre blu più piccole furono riorganizzate nel ferro di cavallo e nel cerchio che si possono vedere oggi.

    Il numero originale di pietre nel cerchio di pietre blu era probabilmente intorno 60, ma da allora questi sono stati rimossi o rotti. Alcuni rimangono come ceppi sotto il livello del suolo.

    fonte: Stonehenge.co.uk

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