Over the past two years only five genuine questions were received, lost in at least 20,000 pieces of spam__at least 30 pieces of junk mail per day. To send a question, a comment, a suggestion, visit this page.
The questions received so far are presented in reverse chronological order. Your e-mail address, of course, will not appear.
More: Any idea on the dates of these?
Answer: I have not come across anything on this topic in my readings.
More: Also, the excerpt of the Esteban Atan manuscript shown in Aku-Aku includes a section of text in addition to the dictionary-style listing. Presumably, this was taken from one of the tablets "read" by Metoro? Any idea which one?
Answer: I am not sure what text you refer to here. My copy is the 1958 George Allen & Unwin hardback. Pages 178 and 179 seem to be what you mean. The caption at the bottom starts: "Two pages from the village skipper's rongo-rongo book..." On the right-hand page is a list of signs in two columns, each with a reading. This is out of Jaussen's list, with minor discrepancies, for instance "he rima i ruga i te puoko" where Jaussen has "Rima i ruga i tona puoko." On the left-hand page is a long text all in hieroglyphs, with separating dots. The sign "translated" by "he rima i ruga i te puoko" on the opposite page is quite distinctive, and rare. It is sign 543. From the concordance (which you can download from here) you can see that it occurs only once, in ninth position, line 12 of the verso of tablet B (Aruku-Kurenga):
Bv12.009:59f-9-0!-20f-30a-4-543-2-50-240.27-73.6-4-522y-700.600-59f-320.It also occurs once in the text in Aku-Aku as the last sign of the second last line. Its environment there is not that of Bv12 at all. However, if you turn to the "dictionary" on the page opposite (p.179), and work back up from that sign (second column, fourth last sign), you will see that the same signs occur in the dictionary in the same order as in the "text" on p.178. Turning again to the Jaussen list (Reports of the Norwegian Archeological Expedition etc., George Allen & Unwin, 1966, Vol. 2, Fig.94) you see that the "dictionary" page in Aku-Aku is copied out of the Jaussen list. Turning to Fig. 83, the first page of Jaussen's list, compare it now to the beginning of the hieroglyphic text in Aku-Aku, p.178. They are identical.
More: Although his methods and conclusions are rather questionable, I think perhaps the work of Sergei V. Rjabchikov deserves some mention, at very least among Carroll, Billimoria, and Fischer.
Comment: That's a thought.
More: In general I think his translations are nonsense, and his insistence on using his own, rather confusing numbering scheme instead of Barthel's makes reading his writings a lot of work, but I think at least some good points are raised in the midst of the highly questionable conclusions, such as the idea that hand/arm-type may not effect the meaning of the text.
Comment: Pozdniakov has demonstrated that the "forked hand" (e.g. of sign 204) is equivalent to the "fingers-and-thumb hand" (e.g. sign 206), but different from the "thumbless hand" (e.g. sign 201), and from the "fist hand" (e.g. 202). Pozdniakov's demonstration is sound, if difficult to follow (Pozdniakov 1997. Les bases du déchiffrement de l'écriture de l'île de Pâques. Journal de la Société des Océanistes, Vol.103, No.2, pp.289-303).
More: His website is: http://www.openweb.ru/rongo/ Lots of garbage, but some interesting stuff, including the "signatures" of the Easter Island chiefs on the Spanish treaty, which I hadn't seen before.
Comment: They are in volume 2, figure 81, of the Reports of the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island and the Pacific, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1966.
Although they're strongly influenced by Tahitian, as for seasonal greetings, this is what we say: