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Ancient British Rock Art

44 45 The triangle and its associated structures have long been dynamic elements which have been employed by many cultures and religions. In Christianity, Judaism, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen and the more recent Bauhaus, the triangle has been seen and employed as a powerful fundamental element, often associated with a range of qualities and attributed colours. Xenocrates, the Greek philosopher, suggested that the triangle was a symbol for God, and in Christianity it represented the Holy Trinity. It is associated with fire and strength but also with harmony and balance. The zigzag could be a reference to, or a symbol for, water but given the complexity of other nearby elements, this may be too simple an explanation of its meaning in this context. The cist cover from Carnwarth is interesting in that it exhibits differing styles, simultaneously displaying typical ring marks beside the stylised triangular motifs. These examples show that angular designs were not local to one area or tradition. Whether such simple and universal devices arose spontaneously or through communication between different communities is a matter for debate. shArp AngLEs triangles, diamonds and zigzags Cist Cover, Carnwarth, Lanarkshire Newgrange, Co. Meath, Eire Newgrange, Co. Meath, Eire Barclodiad y Gawres, Anglesey Newgrange, Co. Meath, EireChris Mansell
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