Cup-and-Ring Marks

Kunstschaffen und Bewusstseinsbildung in der neolithischen Zeit
Jahrbuch für Goetheanismus 2023, 2023, P.67-115 | DOI: 10.18756/jfg.2023.67


This study examines the phenomenon of the so-called »cup-and-ring marked rocks« from the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age, as they occur particularly in Scotland and on the Atlantic fringe of Western Europe. This research report has its focus on their aesthetic ef- fects. A phenomenology of their appearance is worked out by starting with the direct per- ception of the simple forms, depressions in the rocks with circles around them. Systematically, the research shifts from the external phenomenon towards results derived from self-observation according to Goethe's methodology with indications of the kind of state of consciousness that was needed to produce these »images«. It is proposed to interpret cup-and-rings as early self-representations of man, and thus as art. Taking their aesthetic appearance seriously, the self-observation of these »watery« forms mark the transition from the hunter-gatherer ex- istence, i.e. a »free floating« consciousness in group contexts towards a perception of a spatially fixed outer nature, i.e. a sedentary form of life with an object consciousness. The conclusions of this work are compared and discussed with recent academic research and reflected in rela- tion to the method of Goetheanism.


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