Mr Burrell Dawson was first to find written evidence at the INY-272 location concerning Lugh, a deity from Celtic religion. Described by Dr. Barry Fell and other sources as "The God of Light", it seemed reasonable that a solar observatory with a Celtic calendar scheme may have associations with this name. Burrell Dawson's work with the inscribed metate was the first hint that there may be more to this "God of Light" than the name suggests, indeed there is. Celtic mythology from Irish legend combined with records from continental sources attest to the wide spread veneration of this deity. He was revered throughout pre-Roman Celtic Europe.
Byanu, the Mother earth deity recognized by the Celts during the neolithic and copper ages was gradually replaced by the masculine sky god, Lugh. The devotion to the main Creator God remained unaltered and the mythology does not seem to indicate this change was anything other than business as usual. This alteration took place sometime during the late copper and continued through the early bronze age. Lugh, alias Hu, Lew, Lliu, Llew, (or any phonetic combination you can concoct that sounds like "LU"; silent consonants are allowed), was universally recognized as lawfather and keeper of knowledge. Lugh evolved as a man/God capable of miracles, magic and healing. Chief among natural spirits, he is also credited with creating the world. Orders of druids tended his many shrines as sacred places and kept in memory the knowledge of the culture accumulated over millennia.
Post-Constantine (after about 330 AD) Christian zealots eradicated the European shrines and related religious images as "works of the devil." The religion itself was misrepresented and its leadership, the druids (or popularly called dragons), were targeted and exterminated with ferocity. The cleansing and conquest of the European continent took more than five hundred years. The religion survived for a while more in unconquered Ireland, but the arrival of Patrick was the beginning of the end, at least as far as Europe was concerned. All that remains are vague tales, myth and legend. The knowledge of Lugh was all but eliminated in Europe. Only fragments of mythology survived, but in the hands of the people responsible for the genocide.
One part of an Irish tale of origin has Lugh apprenticed to a smith and tending a fire. This has specific implications that the smelting and forging of metals and all the necessary knowledge to accomplish this task was available at the time and that knowledge may have been available to the druid-priest-artist who pecked this image. Anthropologists would have labeled this man a shaman, but his use of ogam, the representation of a Celtic (or any variant of Celtic People) deity, the occasion that ogam is found in accompanyment and other factors place the concept of Druid foremost.
Lugh's nickname, "Lugh of the Long Arm" or "Lugh of the Long Arm and Hand", and an association with a sling or slingshot or spear, are parts of legend. I believe it is a representation of Lugh that is depicted as the Anthropomorphic figure. The details, when compared to known attributes, support this assessment. Lugh was a traveler, a master of all crafts, hand skills, sorcery, divinations, magic, healing, miracles, music and trade. as "lawfather" he set the rules that governed family life and Celtic society in both Ireland and on the Continent.
Lugh was supposed to posses a magic spear, but this does not figure into many of the surviving stories, nor does a legacy of warfare. The mythology suggests Lugh to have been benevolent and peace-loving. The Roman historians noted that his wayside shrines and holy places were many and that Lugh's images were often accompanied by a cock, a turtle and a ram. Here, at Inyo, it seems to be accompanied by a snake or serpent. This is a connection that is insufficiently explored.
The figure in question has an elongated right arm and hand, deliberately configured by the artist. This is a match for Lugh's nickname. The left arm of the figure is what one might consider normal length. A small object appears to be looped over it at the mid point, perhaps an animal skin. The pointed head is a problem no authority of Celtic studies could address, their source of materials was subject to five hundred years worth of the hammers of Christian zealots. No image of Lugh survived in Christian lands.
The pointed head may be related to the pointed hat of a sorcerer. In ancient times, sorcery was a profession of honor and required many years of study. The practitioners were the learned men of the time. Sorcerers were noted for studying the stars and movement of the heavens and apparently the sun as well. An individual with the knowledge and skills necessary to create the solar event notations at INY-272 could have been categorized as a sorcerer, Caesar would have called him a druid. Lugh was noted for this skill and was often depicted with a sorcerers hat or petasus.
Some thought must be given to the fact that the pointed head is also a geometric form. It is the vertex of an angle. The People who created the Inyo site were highly skilled in practical geometry. Solar observation and notation, as found at the same site with the figure, would have required a working knowlege of geometry to determine the times (by solar position) of the summer solstice, the cross quarters the equinox and the winter solstice. To further muddle the picture, the shape may represent one side of a pyramid. Whether stepped or smooth sided, pyramids are pointed skyward, the realm of the Sky Father.
Another connection with a triangle shape and Lugh comes from Ireland. A curious feature of several Irish megalithic chambers was the inclusion of brilliantly white triangular stones in the construction. Occasionally these were diamond shaped, but the name the Irish archaeologists have assigned these artifacts is "Lug(h) Stones". No reason was offered as to why.
Yet another connection with the applied geometric form of a triangle had a dual source and usage. The Trinity has an ancient religious application to describe the relationship necessary with regard to the Earth Mother, the Sky Father and the Creator. These religious connections were made by the educated class, or priests of the ancient society. These same People were the astrononers and theorists of the era as well. All orbital and geological measurement requires firm and full knowledge of the workings of triangles and their geometric functions.
The erect phallus is also a subject not covered in any reference to Lugh. Possibly this is due to Christian modesty and effective censoring. One can trace the name back to its Indo-European roots. Phonetically, Lugh is equal to lu. Records from the era are syllabic and the sound lu is accounted for. It means "manly, strong, or virile", prior and simultaneous to the name meaning "bright or shining". The erect phallus conveys the meaning of virility rather well.
Irish mythology reports of a human birth mother for Lugh. His father is a god, Lugh is the product of rape. Here the image is emerging (or born) from the sun. Any mythology that deals with this circumstance is not known. Inyo is a source yet to be fully explored.
Coincidentally, in several of the Mediterranean syllabic writing systems of the time, the sound "LU" was spelled with a simple cross, "+". The early Roman alphabet letter for "T" was "+", but confusion arose and it was rotated to "x", after Christian times it reverted to "t". Also, the word "Light" in Lugh's title has a dual meaning. As "enlightened" may mean "full of wisdom", the "God of Light " may just as well mean the God of Wisdom. (See Light & Fire. )
Two other items on what I call the dedication panel can be connected with Lugh and his attributes. The first is the object consisting of what appears to be a series of pecked lines. This has been identified as a "medicine bag". Such fringed sacks have been found in archaeological context containing herbs (including Marijuana) and medicinal preparations. Here the advertisement may mean a place of healing or health. The second item is less clearly defined. The three balls may represent the three apples of immortality, icons present in several Celtic Religious texts. There are other items on this panel that have yet to be identified. It is my feeling that future identifications will only strengthen the ties to Lugh of the Long Arm and the religion it represents.
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