The Origin of the Moon
The following essay (below) was published on the Graham Hancock Forum on the 12th January 2003. It needs updating and editing slightly. For example I've revised my original proposed date for when earth gained its moon from circa 2,000 BC to approximately 1,200 BC. This coinciding with a global Dark Age of the same period, or in Egyptian times the New Kingdom (my revised chronology).
I suppose what it boils down to is this -- here's the Moon (left), now try and find a similar simple crescent Moon in Neolithic times, you won't because I have searched high and low. The nearest you'll get is some ambiguous lumps of clay with holes in it. If these artifacts represent the Moon then there should be many hundreds (if not thousands) of basic crescent Moons, as will be shown this clearly isn't the case. Further, try and find a simple crescent moon on temple walls throughout the length and breath of the Nile Valley (historical times). Again, any search will prove futile - I'm still searching!!
Also, the true age of the Moon cannot be determined, how's this? Because the rock samples brought back by the Apollo missions, which reveal ages of between 3.2 & 4 billion years old are mainly rocks and dust blasted off from the planet Mars. In brief; as Mars and Venus entered into 3,000 years (Pharaonic Egypt ) of encounters with earth, Mars became transformed from an earth-like planet (replete with oceans, atmosphere and magnetic field) to its now frozen desolate state. This involved countless tons of rock, volatiles, dust and debris blasted out into space. The moon, also born from Jupiter, vacuumed tons of this stuff up. So, by sampling rocks from the surface of the Moon we are in effect, merely dating rocks from Mars. To obtain the true age of the Moon would involve digging down probably several kilometres. I will expound on this later.
Anyway, here's my essay from 2003.
Earth's capture of the moon c. 1,200 BC
By Gary Gilligan
How Earth gained such a large moon is still one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. I propose past planetary chaos involving Earth, Mars and Venus resulted in the capture of the moon in orbit around the Earth circa 1,200 BC. This chaotic ‘capture' of the moon paralleling a “Dark Age” as proposed by archaeologists (See Geological Evidence).
I will show that the moon could not have existed during prehistory as evidenced by the absence of the moon in Neolithic artwork and artifacts.
Though I have amassed a great deal of corroborative material supporting past planetary chaos covering the periods between 3000-500BC, in this essay, I will limit the discussion to Neolithic cultures and will separate these from the later ‘fully formed' civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians (c.3,000 BC.)
Additional evidence will be discussed in future work.
Neolithic Period c. 6,000 - 3,000 BC.
No one knows what the earliest humans thought about the sky, for no records exist. However a good deal of insight can be gleaned from the way these people lived by analyzing the artwork and artifacts dating from this period. The Neolithic period was a time of great change. Before this, people had survived by hunting and gathering food. Now they started to farm the land and to keep animals for meat and skins. They learned to grow crops and make pottery and tools to use on their farms.
Archeologists continue to discover thousands of beautiful crafted artworks dating from this time, and some of the cave drawings and pottery are considered to be works of art.
The art of these prehistoric cultures included stone monuments, artifacts, crafted pottery and visual art. Neolithic peoples buried their dead, often with great ceremony.
Everyday Neolithic objects reveal that hunting was the main occupation of these prehistoric peoples. This explains the most prevalent cave drawings which archeologists have labeled ‘hunting scenes', many of which show bison and buffalo roaming the plains. The multitude of rock art discovered reveals shapes from simplistic spirals and circles to abstract shapes that even the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes would have a problem deciphering. The pottery reveals outstanding masterpieces of prehistoric art.
While some of the prehistoric monuments, artifacts, cave drawings, pottery and rock-art can be attributed to the sun, there is one glaringly obvious fact that scholars and historians have overlooked. They are all devoid of one image - the moon! There is not one monument, one artifact or one rock drawing that could be taken to represent an image of the moon! Why?
Quite simply: it wasn't there!
No moon images from Pharaonic Egypt
The Moon in Ancient Cultures
We are taught by scholars that the Moon has resided in the heavens since time immemorial. The Moon is the only clearly visible object in the sky that changes noticeably over a relatively short period of time. This is more likely to attract more curiosity and attention than the Sun and the stars. The Sun and the stars would have appeared to be a natural phenomenon next to the moon with its awe-inspiring phases. It is thus, more likely to be worshipped and studied by all cultures. This beautiful orb with its waxing and waning has inspired mankind's imagination throughout the ages. Even in today's modern society a full moon is an awesome sight and is considered by many to have special significance. Some of our present day religions can even be traced back to the worship of the Moon.
But what of the Moon in the prehistory... before the dawn of civilization? To what level of importance can we attribute the moon in ancient cultures? How did the ancient cultures of the Neolithic period perceive the Moon? Let us first try to gain insight into their thoughts and beliefs. Then take a look at the artwork, which could be considered as representing the moon, or as lunar in character.
Survival was paramount. This involved hunting and gathering food. Prehistoric people were hunter-gatherers first, evolving into farmers second. What sort of influence can we attribute to the Moon in the daily lives of these prehistoric cultures? Well let's look at the very thing than enabled them to survive... food. The necessity to put food on the table. Prehistoric cultures were limited farmers and no matter how efficient they were the need to hunt would not have abated. Becoming farmers did not exclude the need to hunt. The moon would have played a major part in the hunting of food. The moon's phases would have assisted in the intense struggle for survival. Hunting at night would have been more rewarding than a daytime hunt. Nocturnal hunting… the ability to utilize the moons phases for the stalking and killing of prey. To which great god can we attribute this blessing? Even the most primitive of minds would have deduced it was the light bequeathed from the moon, which enabled such events to take place. As a result, this ‘night time Sun' would have been revered as the ‘god of gods par excellence'.
The moons phases would be monitored religiously, knowing the difference between what we call a full moon and a new moon. After all you only need to be able to count up to thirty to devise a basic lunar calendar. The new Moon, being invisible, would have shed no light and would have provided no help for a hunting party. As the phases of the Moon advanced, more and more light would have been visible for the hunt. A successful nocturnal hunt under the beneficial light of the full Moon would have led to a celebrational feast, with thanks being offered to the Moon god.
Some nomadic Neolithic cultures made the transition from following animals to the setting up of small settlements, breeding herds and cultivating crops. A basic calendar would have been essential to an understanding of when to sow the seed in order to reap the best harvest. Modern day farmers carry their calendars around on their wrist - the ancients had no such luxury. A solar calendar would certainly be sufficient to predict the seasons, but what of the Moon? If the Moon were present, would our ancient farmers have monitored the Moon or the sun? The answer has to be that they would have monitored both. The monitoring of the Moon would have been a prerequisite for determining and confirming the solar year. Combined solar-lunar calendars would have been used religiously, exactly as we do today. Some Neolithic sites, such as Newgrange in Ireland , show signs of solar alignments but none can be attributed to the Moon.
Having no concept of space and the universe as we understand it, the sun, due to its smaller size as viewed from Earth would have appeared subordinate to the Moon. This apparent dominance over the sun would have been confirmed by one of the natural world's most eerie, beautiful spectacles... the eclipse of the Sun. During an eclipse, day turns to night; the air chills; birds stop singing and start to roost. Be it partial or total... can you imagine what the ancients thought of this natural phenomenon? The almighty Moon god having the power over the perennial sun god. The power to bring about nightfall in an instant.... the divine power over the light..........
What of the Moon and the apparent belief of its connection with the menstrual cycle? It would have been quite understandable for the ancient people to have associated fertility with the Moon. The Moon's cycle of 29.25 days is very close to the 28 day menstrual cycle. Whilst I believe it is the Sun that determines the 28-day cycle (Cotterell's; Tutankhamun Prophecies pg. 247), it would have been quite understandable if the ancients, without the benefit of 5,000 years of science, attributed fertility to the Moon and its monthly cycles. This would have been another overwhelming reason for the ancients to worship this great ‘god' with reverence.
All of the Civilizations which follow these prehistoric cultures revered the Sun and Moon as gods. Their imposing temples and monuments evidence this fact. Are we to believe these early cultures deified the Sun and totally ignored the Moon? Its greatness in size in comparison with the Sun would surely have commanded the title ‘king of the four quarters'. Were they asleep from dusk till dawn to be oblivious to this enigmatic god and its awe-inspiring phases? As with all ancient beliefs the gods had to be placated, and this great god of the night would have indeed demanded special attention. So, if the Moon were present in the heavens above would it have played a part in the daily lives of the ancients? Well, how can I get this next statement to jump off the page and grab you?
Their whole lives would have revolved around it!
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'.
The Venus Laussel ( http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/laussel.html ) 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?
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. ( http://www.humanities-interactive.org/ancient/iceage/ex038_04e.html )
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 ( http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/index.htm ) 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?
Megalithic Sites: Stonehenge
Whether large megaliths or small stones, all of the stones at Neolithic sites are there by intention to serve a particular purpose. They are not there by chance. As in the case of Stonehenge these sites have been carefully selected for their geographical position.
Stonehenge is one of the worlds best known ancient monuments. It has stood for over five thousand years, and still we do not know the origin and purpose of this mysterious arrangement of stones. The truth is that three different cultures contributed to this megalithic monument. For the purpose of this essay, I will concentrate on the initial, Neolithic stage of this construction, which began around 3000 BC.
The initial part of construction of this monument began as a modest circular ditch. Within this circle 56 holes were dug. These holes (Aubrey Holes) have baffled scientists for years. It has been proposed these strange holes acted as a lunar calendar. The moon has a cycle for its eclipses. Once a lunar eclipse occurs, another will not happen for nineteen years. After those nineteen years, the moon will, once again, eclipse. The next, and final, eclipse of this cycle occurs eighteen years after the previous eclipse. These years add up to fifty-six (19+19+18). Scientists believe that a stone was placed in one hole in the circle, then each year, the stone would be moved to the next hole. It is proposed this is the way the ancient people could keep track of the moon.
Let me apply a little lateral thinking here... are we to believe the ancient people ignored the Moon's 29 ½ day cycle in favor of a much more complicated calendar? A calendar which would have necessitated the monitoring of the Moon over generations before the circle consisting of 56 holes could even begin to be constructed?
To elaborate: this circle would have to be predetermined in order for it to be a true circle. So the complicated 19+19+18 year phases of the moon would require a least 112 years (56 x 2) of dedicated monitoring before the phases could be determined as definitive. Where are the remnants of the ‘monthly' holes, which would have been required before the 56 holes could be constructed?
What happened to hunger, and the preoccupation with the provision of food for survival?
Prehistoric man's average life span was 30 years; it is inconceivable to think that they would have wasted precious time monitoring such a lengthy cycle when the shorter monthly cycle would have played a more crucial part in their daily lives.
The whole exercise begs the question: for what possible purpose was this enigmatic calendar devised?
Why would the full lunar cycle be ignored and a more complicated eclipse cycle take precedence?
It is difficult to accept that such a lengthy cycle would have been considered to be more important than the lunar month as we recognize it.
The Stonehenge site is a perfect location for a Solar-Lunar calendar, yet as with other great monuments scattered around the world, we are constantly being asked to believe that the ancients adopted a totally different thought pattern when it comes to the monitoring of the heavens. Scholars are constantly ‘bending and twisting' the facts and their interpretation of them to suit their preconceived ideas regarding our solar system and missing the more obvious interpretation.
Neolithic man built sophisticated time-keeping devices like Stonehenge which appear enigmatic to us today. But they were not enigmatic to the people who built them, and there is a much simpler and more logical explanation as to their purpose than some care to recognise. They are all ancient calendars of a sky we do not recognize today. Some can still be attributed to the sun, but there are no Neolithic monuments that can be attributed to the Moon.
Because, quite simply, it wasn't there!
Ancient Calendars: The Birth of Civilization
It is a fact that ancient cultures from both sides of the globe initially devised a solar calendar. Then, after a long period of time, the solar-lunar calendar was developed. What is very difficult to understand is… if the Sun and Moon were both present throughout mankind's development, how is it possible that the Moon was initially ignored in favor of the Sun? It doesn't fit!
Historians and scholars do not appear to have taken into account the fact that this is not the way even the most primitive of minds would work when devising a calendar. Consider the following:
Take away 5,000 years of science and put yourself in their environment.
You are living off the land in a small community at the mercy of the elements. To survive you require food and shelter. A basic calendar is required for husbandry and farming. Knowing when to plant to enable you to reap the best rewards. Upon observing the heavens, you deduce that the seasons coincide with the heavenly movements of the Sun and Moon. Now this is the unbelievable part - bearing in mind that the Sun would pale into insignificance and seem like a natural phenomenon next to the awe-inspiring phases of the Moon, you totally ignore the Moon in favor of the Sun!
I propose that the ancients did not ignore the Moon - it was simply not there to ignore! Solar calendars appeared first because the Sun was the only major ‘God' in the heavens by which to monitor the seasons.
My research methods are unorthodox as far as academic expectations go, as I take a child like and lateral analysis of things instead of slavishly following preconceived ideas at the expense of missing the most obvious explanations.
A revelation? No it's just a start in support my theory of past planetary chaos and Earth's capture of the Moon in circa 2000bc.
Many revelations will follow... revelations that will blow history out of the water!
To be continued, edited and updated.