Trundholm sun chariot

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The sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology.
Image:Solvogn bagside.jpg
The left-hand side (reverse) of the sun chariot.

The sun chariot of Trundholm, called Solvogn in Danish, is a late Nordic Bronze Age artefact, dated to the 14th and the 15th centuries BC, discovered in 1902 in the Trundholm moor in West Zealand County on the northwest coast of the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in Denmark, in a region known as Odsherred (approx. 55°55′N 11°37′E).

It is a bronze statue of a horse drawing the sun in a chariot, cast in the lost wax method. The horse drawing the solar disk runs on four wheels, and the sun itself on two. All wheels have four spokes. The "chariot" consist solely of the solar disk, the axle, and the wheels, and it is unclear if the sun is imagined as being itself a chariot, or as riding in a chariot. The presence of a model of a horse-drawn vehicle on spoked wheels in Northern Europe at such an early time is in any case astonishing, the earliest known actual chariots (as opposed to ox-drawn carts on solid wheels without spokes) in Europe are from the Iron Age, dating from ca. the 6th century BC (see Etruscan chariot).

The disk has a diameter of ca. 25 cm, and is gilded on only one side, the right-hand one relative to the horse. This has been interpreted as an indication of the belief that the sun is drawn across the heavens from East to West during the day, showing its bright side, and back from West to East during the night, showing its dark side.

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de:Sonnenwagen von Trundholm et:Trundholmi vanker fr:Char solaire de Trundholm hu:Trundholmi kocsi nl:Trundholm zonnestrijdwagen no:Trundholmsvognen sv:Trundholmsvagnen

Trundholm sun chariot

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