The gap

Example 1. Pre gap. A woman is seen performing magic in the robes of the time.

The gap. The woman is not shown, perhaps as the artist has not learned how to make the woman symbol.

Gap closes. The woman is there but is poorly drawn.

Example 2. Before the gap, there is a complex symbol. Note the clouds again which symbolise magic.

The gap. This pictogram is small and primitive.

Gap closes and the clouds are seen. The symbol is probably a tribal mark.

Further pictograms from the pre-gap and gap.

“The gap” is a mysterious incident in the late twentieth century in which a wild change in commonly reproduced artworks came and went in as little as a decade. What we believe to be religious inscriptions on popular artefacts changed very quickly from ornate painted works to extremely simple combinations of letter shapes in bold colours. These were soon discarded and just as quickly poor copies of the original artwork were reintroduced.

There is much dispute over the cause of this rapid change, for which no documentation survived the great power failure of 2056 (‘The Oops’). Some theories include:

1. There was an invasion and the invaders forced a change of culture before eventually being beaten. The problem is that the gap did not seem to take place everywhere at the same time, but was only roughly centred around the years 1975 – 1985. An invasion would more likely have caused change all at once. Also it must be asked, invasion from where? We know at this point all Germans had been sent back to Mars.

2. Plague. Disease is more likely to have reached different places at different times. But, while the gap symbols are more simple it is not universally agreed that they indicate a decline of culture. Some scientists argue that the more precise symbols required just as much skill to carve as those before and after, although this not the mainstream view.

3. Animals did it. An interesting opinion is that at one point animals were being trained to perform this function and the gap symbols were only the start of a failed attempt to pass on this knowledge. This is superficially engaging until the obvious question is asked – what were animals? Without knowing what animals looked like it becomes mere supposition.