General South America World

Easter Island had its own Writing System before the Europeans Arrived

At the most isolated and remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lies Easter Island, which was found to have had its native language before Europeans arrived at the Island in the 1800s.  Many experts and researchers cited that the Polynesians first arrived and inhabited around 800 AD, and a 2007 study showed that they started to live on the island around the 1200s.

However, a team of philologists, chemists, environmental physicists, and engineers affiliated with several European institutions has found evidence of an undeciphered script on wooden tablets created on Easter Island that indicated that the native Rapa Nui had its independent writing system. This adds to the Untouchable Mysterious 1000 monumental statues, and the Moai stone heads standing at the coast.

According to Nature, this specific writing system is very unique in that the script is carved on wooden tablets, known as Rongorongo, also known as Rapa Nui. The script from pictures of several of the tablets revealed that its objects were identifiable, and they depicted human body parts, animals, or tools. “Prior attempts to date the tablets found that at least two of them had been made from trees that grew on Easter Island sometime during the 19th century, after the arrival of Europeans.”

The researchers discovered the radiocarbon-dated four more of the tablets that were taken from Easter Island and stored in a museum in Rome, Italy. They found that three of the were made from wood cut down on Easter Island sometime after the arrival of Europeans—but the fourth had come from a tree felled 200 years before the Europeans had arrived. According to, the fourth tree did not originate from Easter Island, it was from South Africa. The wood had washed ashore on Easter Island most likely due to a shipwreck and the natives carved messages on it in their native language, the researchers suggested.

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