Clip to Evernote    Print this page

Trundholm Sun Chariot


(click on the images to enlarge them)

The Sun Chariot of Trundholm is a late Bronze Age artefact, which is dated to the 14th and the 15th centuries BC. It was discovered in 1902 in the Trundholm moor near Nykøbing Sjælland, Denmark.

It is a bronze statue of a horse drawing the Sun in a chariot. The horse drawing the solar disk runs on four wheels, and the Sun itself on two. All wheels have four spokes. The "chariot" consists of the solar disk, the axle, and the wheels, and it is not certain if the sun was imagined as being the chariot itself, or as riding in a chariot.

The existence of a model of a horse-drawn vehicle on spoked wheels in Northern Europe at such an early time is very unusual, as the earliest known actual chariots (as opposed to ox-drawn carts without spokes) in Europe are from the Iron Age, dating from c. the 6th century BC.

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.






Previous page: European Prehistoric Rock Art
Next page: Iron Age