Article Title

Astronomy and Rongorongo


I have used the computer program RedShift Multimedia Astronomy, Version 2 (produced by Maris Multimedia, San Rafael, CA) to look at the stars above Easter Island over a period of years. The pictures were excellent. With this program, I have determined that a solar eclipse occurred on December 31, 1842, near summer solstice, and found reports about this event in the Great Washington tablet (Sb7 - Sb8), in a hieroglyphic record of Atan's manuscript and in a hieroglyphic record of Tomenika's sheet (Rjabchikov 1996a:33, 36). RedShift allowed me to observe the celestial bodies on that day, and I realized why a local, Tomenika, described that eclipse. The partial eclipse lasted about 3.5 hours and would have been a horrible warning from the gods. The duration of that eclipse was unusually long' and it occurred 20 years before the Peruvian slave raid in December 1862. The 20 year interval may be understood as an encoded symbol, because "twenty" is a sign of birds (the sun) in Rapanui manuscript E (Barthel 1978:149).