I first heard of these some years ago via some program on the History, Discovery or National Geographic channel. I do not see any posts regarding these and find that they are relatively unheard of. In fact, I have posted about them on a couple of other forums over the years and find that I am always the first one to bring them to attention.
Four gold leaf conical hats have been found so far. Reports exist of similar artefacts that are now lost.
They are believed to date to Bronze Age Central Europe, 1200 to 800 BC.
For many years, it was not even known what they were, nor what the symbols on them depicted. It is now believed that they belonged to a centralized sun worshipping cult and that symbols show the lunisolar or metonic cycles.
The following Golden Hats are known at present:
Golden Hat of Schifferstadt, found in 1835 at Schifferstadt near Speyer, circa 1400–1300 BC.
Avanton Gold Cone, incomplete, found at Avanton near Poitiers in 1844, circa 1000–900 BC.
Golden Cone of Ezelsdorf-Buch, found near Ezelsdorf near Nuremberg in 1953, circa 1000–900 BC; the tallest known specimen at c. 90 cm.
Berlin Gold Hat, found probably in Swabia or Switzerland, circa 1000–800 BC; acquired by the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Berlin, in 1996.
It is assumed that the Golden Hats served as religious insignia for the deities or priests of a sun cult then widespread in Central Europe. Their use as head-gear is strongly supported by the fact that the three of four examples have a cap-like widening at the bottom of the cone, and that their openings are oval (not round), with diameters and shapes roughly equivalent to those of a human skull. The figural depiction of an object resembling a conical hat on a stone slab of the King's Grave at Kivik, Southern Sweden, strongly supports their association with religion and cult, as does the fact that the known examples appear to have been deposited (buried) carefully.
A detailed study of the Berlin example, which is fully preserved, revealed that the symbols probably represent a lunisolar calendar. The object would have permitted the determination of dates or periods in both lunar and solar calendars.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_hat ... comparison
Since an exact knowledge of the solar year was of special interest for the determination of religiously important events such as the summer and winter solstices, the astronomical knowledge depicted on the Golden Hats was of high value to Bronze Age society. Whether the hats themselves were indeed used for determining such dates, or whether they simply represented such knowledge, remains unknown.
These hats show that the modern association of the wizard who wears a tall conical hat embellished with celestial symbols dates back thousands of years.
Magic is Religion is Science.