Hills and mountains
Hills, mountains, mounds and lofty peaks are given important functions in numerous religions, mythology, etc, mainly due to their peaks being closer to the sky (where the Gods supposedly reside) than any human buildings and most natural features. Volcanoes also offer a portal underground, hence a connection to the mythical underworld (Hell, etc).
Man-made mountainous structures (e.g. pyramids and ziggurats) play the same symbolic role as natural mountains, as do lofty trees. All are used to symbolise the ‘centre of the world’ or some cosmic centre/axis/pivot.
Island mountains/mounds symbolise the creation of the dry world that emerges out of the watery chaos/void.
Mountain peaks are where man communes with God/the Gods, e.g. the Biblical MOSES receives the 10 Commandments from God on a mountain. Noah’s ark rests on top of a mountain. I don’t think it is coincidence that the ark is made of wood, as is the other Biblical ark: the ARK OF THE COVENANT, into which is placed the stone tablets inscribed with the 10 commandments.
An ark is also the basket in which the baby Moses is placed, then floated on water.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) – sci-fi film written and directed by STEVEN SPIELBERG in which a flat top hill called DEVIL’S TOWER plays a prominent role. It’s lack of a pointed peak is echoed by ziggurats and by the unfinished pyramid that is crowned by the All-Seeing eye, as seen in the US Great Seal.
More to come…