Wheeled Wonders

The Trundholm Sun Chariot, 1400 BCE. Photo: Roberto Fortuna & Kira Ursem, National Museum of Denmark
The Trundholm Sun Chariot, one of Denmark's national treasures, might look to modern viewers like a child's toy. But this wonderful object, created around 1400 BCE, was used in rituals related to the Nordic Bronze Age belief that a magical horse pulled the sun across the sky on its daily journey. The disc mounted on the chariot is gilded on the "sunny" side, and inscribed with circles that represent this eternal cycle. The disc's other side was ungilded, symbolizing the darkness that ensued during the chariot's nightly journey through the underworld. Read more about the Sun Chariot here.

Cult Wagon of Strettweg, ca. 600 BCE.  Photo: Thilo Parg
The Cult Wagon of Strettweg was found in a princely grave in Austria, and dates to around 600 BCE. Associated with the Hallstatt culture, an early Celtic peoples, this bronze wagon bears figures of men, women and animals, including a tall goddess type who supports a shallow bowl for ritual libations (beer would be nice.) Except for a pair of shield-bearers who sport spiffy conical hats, the ensemble is naked (those into all things Druid call this "skyclad".) With their animated gestures they certainly do look like they're on their way to one heck of a do. Here's more information on this wonderful object.

The Temple of the Rose Cross, 1618.
These wheeled wonders called to mind the image of another truly remarkable mobile extravaganza, namely The Temple of the Rose Cross, as illustrated in this print of 1618. I came across this curiosity while reading up on the Rosicrucians, a mystical sect founded in late Medieval Germany, and much beloved by conspiracy theorists. Nothing I've read about them has clearly explained to me what they're all about, but given that they are a secret society, perhaps that's to be expected. If I join do I get to go for a ride in this whizzbang temple-on-wheels?

If you can get through this entire Wikipedia article on the Rosicrucians then you've got more stamina than me.