Thursday, December 22, 2011
This is a petroglyph from Wyoming County in southwestern West Virginia. In the early 1980's the script was identified as Celtic Ogam. The petroglyph was dated from 500-800 A.D. It was translated into Old Irish and then into English. It reads: "At the time of sunrise a ray grazes the notch on the left side on Christmas Day. A Feast-day of the Church, the first season of the year. The season of the blessed advent of the Savior, Lord Christ. Behold, he is born of Mary, a woman."
Not far away in 1989 a skeleton was found buried in front of another petroglyph. The head was identified as of European origin (not native American.) The skeleton has been carbon dated to 710 A.D., plus or minus 40 years.
There are several other petroglyphs in the region. One reads: "A happy season is Christmas, a time of joy and goodwill to all people. A virgin was with child; God ordained her to conceive and be fruitful. Ah, behold a miracle! She gave birth to a son in a cave. The name of the cave was the Cave of Bethlehem. His foster-father gave him the name Jesus, the Christ, Alpha and Omega. Festive season of prayer."
In the Julian calendar, which was in use until the 16th century, December 25 was the winter solstice. Christians in the 4th century decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the date of the solstice. The birthday of the Light of the World would coincide with the birthday of the Sun.
The above picture and the translations are from the March, 1983, issue of Wonderful West Virginia magazine. The information about the skeleton is from the web site "Pre-historic West Virginia."