I shouldn't really have to say much more since these two juxtaposed pictures are easily worth a couple of thousand words on their own. . . but I will none-the-less go ahead and republish some of what I wrote in my 'The "Eye of God" In Total Solar Eclipses' eclipsology "web sight" years ago. For the immediately preceding background go to this Internet Archive web page.
Just as Ronald Giovannelli, Rolf Sinclair, and others apparently did not perceive the quite distinct similarity of the 'radiating sun' motif or the totally eclipsed sun to an eye so it would appear that Marija Gimbutas and her predecessors did not deduce that this 'radiant divine eye' motif, which Gimbutas has explicitly, and I have every reason to believe quite accurately, described as a 'compound eye/sun symbol', was almost certainly inspired by the striking similarity in appearance of the totally eclipsed sun to a 'radiant divine eye.' A colour photograph of just such a 'compound eye/sun symbol' or 'radiant divine eye' is published in 'The Monument Builders' by Time-Life Books. It is a petroglyph, which was carved onto a megalithic stone block at a prehistoric tomb near Dowth, Ireland, one of the Irish 'tomb-shrines' that Gimbutas mentions.
The caption to this illustration reads, "Either the sun or an eye may be signified in this carving in a curbstone of a retaining wall that was built to protect the base of a burial mound at Dowth, County Meath, Ireland."
The prehistoric Dowth petroglyphs are more than favourably comparable to nineteenth century drawings of total solar eclipses. The inner circle of each rayed-sun has been deliberately pitted to darken it, just as the moon is darkened when it is directly interposed between the Earth and the sun during a total solar eclipse. It is, in my opinion, well within possibility, even probable, that the heavily pitted surface of the inner circle of the Dowth petroglyphs was also intended to represent the cratered surface of the moon. If this hypothesis is true, it would evidently indicate that the prehistoric artists who carved the Dowth petroglyphs completely understood that total solar eclipses were caused by the glorious conjunction of the Earth's only moon with the sun. An unpitted, or 'clear', ring surrounds the pitted inner circle and it is of a thickness that is similar to that of the bright ring of the sun's crimson chromosphere, or inner corona, which completely encircles the lunar disc at totality. Several straight lines radiate outwards from this inner ring to an outer circle that delineates the outer limits of this 'radiating sun' aka 'radiant divine eye' aka 'compound eye/sun symbol.'
The only significant difference between the prehistoric petroglyphs at Dowth and astronomical drawings of the total solar eclipse that were made by astronomers in the nineteenth century is that the latter representations tend to show considerably more radial spikes in the corona than the Dowth petroglyphs which depict between one to two dozen spokes radiating outwards from the inner circle. The drawing of the July 28, 1851 total solar eclipse published in Thierry Moreux's 'Les Eclipses' bears this out. Several examples of nineteenth century astronomical drawings are provided along with reproductions of the Dowth petroglyphs for the purposes of comparison.
A description of the corona of the July 28, 1851, total solar eclipse in Volume 21 of the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society of Great Britain reads, "The corona, which was formed at the moment of total obscuration, shone with feeble light; equal, perhaps, to about one-third that of the full moon. The light was divided by radial lines, and presented the appearance of brushes of luminous rays from behind the moon."
A joint report by six German observers describing the same eclipse informs us that:
"The crown of rays (i.e. corona) had, from its very intense but not dazzling splendour, the greatest resemblance to the halo round the head of a saint; it formed a white-shining ring, equal in breadth to half the moon's radius, out of which twelve to fourteen white rays extended themselves, inclined to each other at equal angles, and of the length of the whole radius. . . No change or movement could be seen in them during the three minutes' duration of total darkness."
These comparatively 'modern' and 'scientific' descriptions of the 1851 total eclipse of the sun conform remarkably well to the Dowth petroglyphs which were hammered into Irish stone about four thousand years earlier. The portion of the Dowth petroglyph that represents the sun's corona has seventeen 'rays' divided by more or less equally spaced radial lines. The number of 'rays' depicted on other 'radiating sun' or 'radiant divine eye' petroglyphs at Dowth, as well as in other regions of the world, varies considerably.
The petroglyph at Dowth, Ireland, is remarkably similar to, and eminently comparable with, an astronomical drawing of the 1851 total solar eclipse that is depicted in figure2 of Plate VI of Volume XXI of the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. The sun's corona, as it is depicted in this purely scientific astronomical illustration, is divided into approximately seventeen quite distinct rays. These rays are separated from each other by a series of darker areas regularly interspersed between them. If one were to ask the artist who drew the 1851 eclipse to sculpt the very same image into stone with hammer and chisel they would inevitably create a petroglyph that would be virtually identical in appearance to the 'radiating sun' or 'compound eye/sun symbol' at Dowth.
When one synthesizes the thoughtful, well presented, and perfectly reasonable assertions or 'theses' of Ronald Giovannelli, Rolf Sinclair and others that the 'radiating sun' motif was inspired by ancient observations of total solar eclipses, with the thesis of Marija Gimbutas that this ubiquitous 'radiating sun' motif is in her eloquent words, "a compound eye/sun symbols. . . more logically seen as a 'radiant divine eye'" one arrives at an inevitable conclusion. It becomes obvious that the prehistoric artists from a diversity of ancient cultures who carved these 'radiant divine eye' motifs onto stone monuments in numerous regions of the Earth, and who likewise painted them onto the walls of caves, imprinted them into their pottery, wove them into their fabrics, or even tattooed them onto their bodies, were evidently witnesses to one or more total solar eclipses during their existence. On recognizing the distinct similarity in appearance of the totally eclipsed sun to a tremendous eye in the sky, they perceived the total solar eclipse to be either the literal, or possibly allegorical, eye of a sky-dwelling god or goddess. They were thus inspired to create these 'radiant divine eyes' as a memorial of the occasion when this mysterious celestial deity deigned to look down upon them from the heavens above.
The book 'Boyne Valley Vision' by Martin Brennan deals with the archaeoastronomy of the megalithic site Newgrange, with which Dowth is intimately related, and in it Brennan informs us that:
"Another theme occurs in Egyptian literature and mythology which is also found in Irish mythology. In Egypt the eye represented the all-seeing power of the high god in all his manifestations. The Irish regarded the sun as the eye of the heavens. The Irish word 'suil', etymologically speaking, means 'sun' and is cognate with the Welsh 'houl,' and the Latin 'sol,' and later acquired the meaning 'eye.' A closer parallel with the Egyptian use of the symbol is found in the story of Balor, the huge, one-eyed being who slew his enemies with his glance in the mythological battle of Moytura. The theme is repeated in Irish literature through the ages, and in the cycle of tales concerning Finn McCool, Goll 'the one-eyed' has these powers. It is possible then that the ray of light which enters the cave at Newgrange also signifies the omniscience and the omnipotence of the creative, spiritual force."
Understanding that the prehistoric Dowth petroglyphs were almost certainly inspired by total solar eclipses I think that we can be more than reasonably assured that the 'radiant divine eyes' that are carved into what Brennan calls 'the Stone of the Seven Suns' at Dowth were intended to signify the omniscience and omnipotence of the creative spiritual force of the Creator. The prehistoric artists of Dowth likely perceived this spiritual force to be allegorized in the totally eclipsed sun's similarity to an eye.