A local deity?

Here’s a little update of this post on local gods. Back then, I mentioned that there is virtually no pre-Christian iconography from my native area, which is true. Virtually, however, means that that is basically the case, but with a few exceptions. This is one of those rare cases:

Alcobaça Rupestre 01

The original no longer exists, as the rock on which it was carved was destroyed at some point in the late 19th or early 20th century. Fortunately, someone made a drawing before that happened. It comes from the nearby village of Turquel and what it depicts is anyone’s guess. It looks like a human figure dancing or jumping and holding up a wheel, but feel free to give your own interpretation. Whether the circle represents the sun, the moon or the year is another doubt. And that adds to the question on the identity of the figure: a god, a goddess, a hero, a priest?

As I also mentioned in the original blog post on local gods, it has been suggested that if you take a bird eye’s view of the region and draw lines connecting ancient sites and natural features, you may end up with a similar “dancing” figure with a wheel. Or to sum it up in a picture:

Alcobaça Rupestre 02

Again, it’s anyone’s guess. This is highly speculative, as you can draw pretty much anything from loose points on a map. But still, there it is. Has anyone ever seen a similar figure?


4 thoughts on “A local deity?

    • That’s actually well spotted. Even more if one considers the fact that the rock no longer exists, so there is no way of knowing how the picture was originally carved – horizontally or vertically.

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