SETI Rongorongo - the *astronomical* hypothesis

Larry Klaes (
Wed, 09 Jun 1999 11:11:35 -0400

>Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 23:20:10 +0200 >Reply-To: History of Astronomy Discussion Group <HASTRO-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU> >Sender: History of Astronomy Discussion Group <HASTRO-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU> >From: Daniel Fischer <dfischer@ASTRO.UNI-BONN.DE> >Subject: Rongorongo - the *astronomical* hypothesis >To: HASTRO-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU > >Is anyone on this list aware of Rongorongo, the mysterious 'writing' on >20+ wood tablets found in the 19th century on Easter Island? There have >been several attempts to decipher it throughout this century, none >really convincing - and now a German graphics designer has come up with >a radically new idea: The tiny glyphs could be navigational descriptions >of how to get from one Pacific island to another, using asterisms and >constellations. > >To quote from the abstract of M. Dietrich's first paper in a scientific >journal (Asian and African Studies Vol. 8 [1998] 118-150): > > "All signs are symbols of stars and planets, quaters, winds, the > moon, the guiding stars etc. The new endeavour to analyse the > rongorongo signs is based on the accessible astronomical knowledge > of Micronesia and Polynesia. The body of rongorongo signs consists > of tropical descriptions of single stars, planets, zodiacal signs > and other constellations. What has been registered are particular > nights and, on the smaller tablets, general data on astronomical > itineraries. The all in all 12 000 rongorongo signs convey > exclusively instructions for sidereal navigation within the Pacific." > >The paper itself (a 2nd one is already in print in the same Slovak >journal) is in German, and there is no writeup of the details available >in English so far. Mr Dietrich speaks and reads English, however. > >Dietrich thinks that he can 'read' most of the glyphs individually. >But to test the astronomical hypothesis, a rather large research >project - probably involving extensive use of a modern planetarium - >seems to be necessary: One should be able to actually find out what >navigational routes whole tables refer to. Mr Dietrich would very >much like to collaborate with interested parties around the world, >and I'd be most willing to help him - the idea alone is too intriguing >to just ignore, IMHO, and could be of some archaeoastronomical >importance. > >Daniel Fischer, >science writer, >Germany > > >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun Jul 11 1999 - 00:43:11 PDT