|front side with gilding|
The sculpture was found on 7th September 1902 in Trundholm Mose (a peat bog) in the northwestern part of Zealand in the region Odsherred in connection to the first ploughing of the moor. The finder Frederik Willumsen brought his discovery back home and let his son play with the horse, he thought it was just an old piece of toy. The sun chariot had however already been damaged once in Bronze Age when it was placed in the moor as a sacrifice to the gods. A metal detector revealed in 1998 new fragments of the six wheels in the same spot. The sculpture is dated by the Nationalmuseet to about 1800 to 1600 BCE though other dates have been suggested. Unfortunately the chariot was found before pollen-dating was developed, which would have enabled a more confident dating. The sun chariot is now in the collection of the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.
|backside with no gilding|
The gilded sun disk is placed upon the sun chariot and the chariot noves from left to right towards the sun during the day The opposite side of the chariot lacks the gilding on the sun disk - this is the darkened sun at night on its way back from right to left to its starting point at sun rise, so the sun chariot illustrates with the two different sides the movement of the sun during day and night.
|A Sun Horse in Mindeparken in Aarhus /photo gb.|
The sun chariot is a witness of the religion of Bronze Age. The sun was center of the religion. People in Bronze Age imagined that the sun was being drawn across the sky in the daytime. In the morning a fish brought the sun to a ship which carried the sun until noon. The sun horse took over and brought the sun to the afternoon ship. At evening a snake brought the sun back to the underworld which lay below the flat earth. Down here the sun was dark and it was by night ships brought back to the starting point in the morning where the fish once again took over. Thus the cycle of the day was kept for all eternity by the helpers of the sun - the fish, the horse the snake and the ships.
|Sól and Mani, drawing by Lorenz Frølich 1895|
Source, Gyldendals og Politikens Danmarkshistorie, bd. 1, "I Begyndelsen";
samt Wikipedia dansk og engelsk og Nationalmuseet, København.
photo fra Wikipedia, Wikimedia,
photo Solhesten, Mindeparken, Aarhus: grethe bachmann