This structure, the
the disc or
globe, seems to be
older than . It is, perhaps, the most common of
the non-pictorial signs chiselled or hollowed out in Nordic rock
carvings. Although is not found among the Egyptian
hieroglyphs, it is used in Japanese Buddhist symbolism, and in India
(for example, on the brows of women to indicate that they are
married, or possibly not widowed).
In astronomy and calendars is used to denote the new moon, i.e. the conjunction of the sun and the moon that takes place once every 28 days. In some meteorological systems it stands for cloudy weather or overcast sky. As a cartographic sign it may indicate communities, towns or centers of communication. In early chemistry it was used for coal. On video appliances it denotes the recording control, as does .