Scientists suggest that the Rongo-Rongo script of Easter Islanders is one of the few independently invented writing systems. It probably appeared before the arrival of European colonizers.
This is reported by Arkeonews with reference to a study published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports.
A group of researchers led by scientists from the University of Bologna conducted a radiocarbon analysis of a wooden tablet with Rongo-Rongo writing. She was one of four found by Catholic missionaries in 1869.
New research has shown that the wood of one of the tablets was carved between 1493 and 1509. Europeans arrived on the island only in the 1720s.
|One of the rongo-rongo plates. Photo: Museum Archives of the Congregazione dei Sacri Cuori di Gesù e Maria
This wood comes from non-native tree species, possibly driftwood. This raises the additional question of the island’s ecological past and the resources that were available to its inhabitants.
Rongo-rongo is unlike any writing system found in Europe. This means that it is an original creation of the Rapa Nui people.
Among the surviving Rongo-Rongo inscriptions are 27 wooden tablets with approximately 15,000 symbols and more than 400 different glyphs. However, they have not yet been deciphered.
If additional research confirms that the Rongo-Rongo script existed before contact with Europeans, it will become one of the few independent scripts in human history. This would place the Rapa Nui people on a par with the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Chinese.
We will remind you that with the help of AI, scientists deciphered an ancient Greek scroll charred during the eruption of Vesuvius.
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