-Protogeometric 1000-900 B.C.: pots were decorated with black bands,
wavy lines and simple geometric designs, principally concentric circles and
half-circles drawn with a compass and multiple brush; careful attention was
given to the relationship between the decoration and the shape of the pot.


Concentric circles in Gabon Central Africa.




Carschenna rock n. 3: concentric circles and solar representation
(photo A. Arcą - Footsteps of Man) Carschenna engravings are
mainly characterized by concentric circles and cup-marks.
Also riding scenes and schematic horses are well present.
Carschenna concentric circles are identical to the Pontevedra (Spain)
and to the Scottish ones. Likenesses can't be casuals, so they
probably belong to the same culture. In the Alps we can find
concentric circles in Valcenischia (Western Alps) and at Sonico (Valcamonica).


Galicia Spain

All them (cylindrical idols, with or without facial tattoos, daggers, & short swords)
represents models that are found in the archaeological record between the final
decades of the III millennium and the first two or three centuries of the II
millennium Before Christ.
With regard to their meaning, it appears logical to look for a magical/religious explanation,
fulfilling special conditions concerning solar illumination and the non-use of adjacent rocks
that do not fulfil these conditions, like proximity to water. Representations of animal
behaviour, such as mating or the singular emphasis on the sexual attributes of the male
in a disproportionate size, would indicate a rite that is magical - religious, in which
ideas of magic, solar cults, hunting and fertility come into play. On the other hand,
the representation of the human figure in riding scenes, hunting, wielding metallic
weapons and even the representation of the weapons alone, seems to indicate
the existence of an elite in a society with a clear tendency towards hierarchy
that reaffirms its power through the representation of activities of social prestige.
Hierachisation and social stratification that also appears in the archaeological
record from the same period.


Betanzos in Bolivia


Cuba Rock Art


3000 year old pottery from Cyprus




This rock in petroglyphs is located,
not in a closed space or in the room,
in front of very old, small mound
tomb in Dohangri, Haman (Kaya),
near Pusan, Korea.



Above: A concentric circle in California

Above: Humans have occupied the Zion Canyon
area ( Utah - USA ) for perhaps 7000 years.
Past inhabitants include Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont
and Southern Paiute. Any or all of these groups
may have contributed Rock Art to the Zion area.


Petroglyphs were carved into lava rock: circles, human figures and turtles.
There were hundreds of concentric circles with a hole in the middle where
ancient Hawaiians put the umbilical cord of their newborns to ensure
long life for their offspring.


Concentric channels and a causeway.


Some of the petroglyphs ("rock art") at Fuente de la Zarza, La Palma, Canary Islands.


From the Early Bronze Age, approximately 1.800 BC, and onwards boat images dominate the rock carvings in southern Sweden and Norway. Humans and animals, chariots and wagons, weapons and ornaments, circle-crosses, footprints and cup marks, accompany the boats. The rock engravings have most probably resulted from a cult oriented towards fertility. Common traits may have been worshipping of the sun and rainmaking witnessed by the numerous symbolic depictions of the sun in the form of circles, spirals and discs and cup-marks.

The numerous detailed representations of huge warriors, carrying swords, spears and axes and helmets with twin horns reflects the focus on warriors and fighting. Although the fights might have been rituals, analysis of wear of actual bronze weapons from contemporary burials, indicate that the weapons were used in actual fighting. In that way the engravings might reflect much of the same worship and cult of fighting and war that is described in the literate Nordic Saga tradition from the Viking era, 800-1060 AD, almost 1.500 years later. Many of these warriors have been put in opposing position. The closest parallels to these motifs are found in Valcamonica in Lombardy, Italy. Link


  • There are temples in Yucatan which were intended for sun-worship, the ground plan being three concentric circles.

    Left: This type of decoration is known as Black on Red Ware, and the vessel is an amphoriskos (a small amphora - see those in the Transport display also). Black on Red decoration, once thought to have come from Phoenicia, now seems to have been more widely produced on Cyprus. The small sets of circles, called concentric circles, are very common in this ware, and were made with a compass that had multiple brush heads; we often see the indentation from the compass point. This vessel has a shiny surface, as it was burnished (rubbed to a high polish with a hard object) after it was fired. Link