Earth’s Capture of the Moon, 1200 BC (gks 12)

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’.

Venus Laussel

The Venus Laussel ( ) is carved into the wall of a limestone rock shelter named Laussel. It is dated to c. 20,000-18,000 BC. So we have to rely on a prehistoric carving dating back 18,000 years as an example. But there is no choice as nothing else comes close! This fact in itself lends further credence to my theory!

Clearly the V.L. female reproductive anatomy has been exaggerated and it is therefore believed that it was a fertility symbol. The crescent shaped bison’s horn, which she holds in her right hand, has thirteen notches. Some scholars believe this represents the 13 menstrual cycles and by association the 13 lunar months in a solar year and have thus concluded that it is lunar in character.

But not all scholars agree. Some consider the 13 notches to be merely coincidental or stylistic in character. Let us assume for a moment that the notches do represent 13 cycles of fertility. The moon’s phases consist of almost 13 cycles in a year (12.38 to be exact). Although the connection with the Moon is plausible, there is a much simpler explanation: the 13 notches simply represent the thirteen 28 day menstrual cycle within a Solar year (365.25 divided by 28 days = 13.04). This would align fertility rites with the Sun, and not the Moon.

It is my belief that the solar year consisted of 360 days (prior to around 2,000bc.). Using this number we are closer to the number 13 without the Moon than the original calculation (360 divided by 28 = 12.86 cycles). But we are splitting hairs here and none of this could be considered to be conclusive. It is a very ‘grey area’ which could be used to support or debunk many different theories. I consider the very fact that there are these enormous grey areas in connection with the Moon to lend further support to my theory.

In addition, in depicting the Moon and its cycles, would not the Full Moon have served as a natural cyclical starting point, rather than the crescent shape?

Phase-of-Moon Indicator

As I stated earlier, lunar representations are few and far between, if not non-existent. The only other artifact that could be considered as lunar in character that has come to my attention is the so-called Phase-of-the Moon indicator. ( )

It is worth taking the time to examine this for yourself. Some scholars allege that the holes represent the phases of the Moon. If so, you would think the least the ancients could do is to fashion the clay into a crescent! How is it that ancient cultures could draw masterpieces on cave walls, yet could not fashion clay to represent the Moon?

The remnants of tea leaves look more like the Moon than this artifact!

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?