Author of the Month

Earth’s capture of the moon c.2000bc
By Gary Gilligan

Artwork; in search of the Moon

Having established the overwhelming importance of the moon in prehistory and taking into account no written records exist for this time period, let us delve back into time and attempt to find this enigmatic ‘god of gods’ in the legacy of their artwork. A great deal of Neolithic artwork could be considered to be representations of the Sun, that is without doubt as there is a multitude of rock art depicting spirals, concentric circles and geometric designs of a similar nature. Some actually depict the Sun the same way as a child would draw it.

But where are the lunar representations?

If the moon were present in prehistoric times then it would have governed the lives of ancient cultures, as a result there should literally be tens of thousands of artifacts, art works, etc. all lunar in character.

Why do we have the expression ‘lunar in character’? The scholastic expression should be more definitive: it should leave no doubt that ‘This is the Moon!’ There should be no ‘grey areas’. After all, even a child can draw a crescent Moon and fashion clay into a crescent shape. Artworks in later civilizations clearly depict the Moon, and some of today’s religions show a crescent Moon in their symbolism - it is clearly portrayed, and clearly represents the Moon.

It is very perplexing to find that when it comes to representations of the Moon, there are possibly only a handful of artifacts which may be considered contenders. Two artworks that have come to my attention that could be considered lunar in character are the ‘Venus Laussel’ and the ‘Phase-of-Moon Indicator’.

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