The oldest Bronze Hand exhibited

A bronze hand has recently been discovered outside the village of Prêles in the Bernese Jura. Specialists date the archaeological find to the Middle Bronze Age around 1500 BC, about 3500 years ago, which is an extraordinarily high age for bronze objects of this type. It is by far the oldest bronze sculpture in Central Europe and one of the oldest in the whole of Europe in the form of a human body part. Nobody knows whether it was part of a statue or a sceptre however. The hand is cast out of tin bronze and weighs about 500 grams. The thin sheet of gold is finely decorated with circular eyes and identifies the hand as a symbol of power. It may have been a sign of power, attached to an object, similar to a sceptre. It is also conceivable that it belonged to a statue of a deity or a revered ancestor. The archaeologists also came across the tomb of an adult man and other burial objects made of bronze could be recovered: a dagger, a robe needle and a spiral as hair ornaments. This exhibition is dedicated to this hand and other finds.