This is a pottery shard from the island of Malta. It was found at the Hagar Qim temple.
The temple was built in 3,300 BC. This shard represents the sun, as a sun wheel. It is divided into eight sections. The wheel often represents life. The passage of time (before clocks)
Malta is amazing. Although now Malta is surrounded by the sea at one time this was not the case. It would have been connected to Italy and Sicily. The sites at Malta are much like the ones found in Scotland, Ireland, and Stonehenge. All have a common mound like or cave structure. They all are aligned as calenders too, and they all have the spirals.
The spirals have stirred all types of speculation. One thing that is known for sure is that the spiral is an ancient representation of the sun. Sometimes there are more arms on the spiral than other times.
We often find that the spirals have 9 rings. This echos a pregnancy term. Women are like the earth and the sun...both bring fourth life. Women have "seasons" just as the earth and sun. At some point the woman changed from solar to lunar. We represent a reflection of the sun. Hmmmm, wonder why?
I am not some radical feminist, but I do think that it is not hard to imagine that at one time women were not a threat. We were seen as the more deified sex since we brought life into the world. We helped the young person sustain life by our bosom. We not only could help our own children but other children, and if need be, older people. We are "really" natural nurturing people.
I read (a long time ago) that we domesticated dogs by breast feeding them. We lured them with a little food, and they have never left our side. I think that is ironic...women domesticated dogs, but dogs are mans' best friend.
I digress...spirals have not been fully figured out as of yet. It may also be that some of the spirals were decorative, and some had more symbolic meaning. Since many primitive people used the spiral as a symbol for the sun there is always a possibility that as it became more popular people wanted to alter it a little.