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Being and Motion$
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Thomas Nail

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908904.001.0001

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Prehistoric Mythology

Prehistoric Mythology

Venus, Egg, Spiral

Chapter:
(p.187) Chapter 14 Prehistoric Mythology
Source:
Being and Motion
Author(s):

Thomas Nail

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190908904.003.0017

The dominant description of being as space coincides roughly with the historical period called the Neolithic. This ontological description was articulated not in written language or an alphabet, which would not be invented for several thousand more years, but through another language altogether—one of images. This chapter argues that there are three interrelated sign groups that rise to mythological dominance across almost all European Neolithic groups: the Venus, the egg, and the spiral. These graphic signs are not like the others—dogs, goats, combs, tools, lunar images, and so on—but have a privileged status not just in the sheer number of their creation and geographical ubiquity across Neolithic Europe during this time, but also in the primacy of their ontogenetic function to explain how being comes to be what it is.

Keywords:   Venus, egg, spiral, snake, egg, mythology, Neolithic, nature, perception

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