Author of the Month

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

Rock Art, Cave Drawings & Pottery

I consider the pottery to be the most beautiful of all the prehistoric artifacts. Pottery was important to the ancients and is equally important to modern archaeologists. Pots were used as tools for cooking, serving, and storing food, and pottery was also a vehicle for artistic expression. Prehistoric potters formed and decorated their vessels in a variety of ways. We can deduce that the ancients possessed a certain level of intelligence from the way in which these vessels were made and decorated.

The same applies to cave drawings and rock art. Petroglyphs etched into the surface of the rock are executed in various manners. There are realistic and symbolic petroglyphs and outline drawings, but most are silhouettes. Scholars do not understand the mystery of these ‘artworks’ nor what they meant to those who created them, but their beauty and power create profound echoes in our modern hearts. ‘Art for art sake’ or symbolistic motifs of an intelligence we do not understand? I find it incredible that scholars try to ascribe to the ancients such complicated thought processes.

I would propose the majority of these artworks represent the ‘gods of the night’ and are celestial in connotation. Here we have a golden opportunity for the Neolithic people to display their talent and placate their gods, but yet again we find nothing that could be considered as representing the Moon.

Andis Collins ( in his extensive study of ancient rock caving has in my view correctly deciphered many of the carvings as representing the stars and their constellations, yet of all the thousands of carvings currently being deciphered we still have no images of the Moon. Where is the Moon? Are we to believe that in the minds of the ancients the stars and constellations took precedence over the Moon?

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