Home The Signs The Corpus
The Rongorongo of Easter Island
The Digitized Corpus
The Cercle d'Études sur l'Île de Pâques et la Polynésie makes available for free to any bona fide researcher Thomas Barthel's numerical transliteration of the rongorongo corpus (IBM-format disquettes). This corpus, although in a format designed more for computers than for humans, is easily readable. Here is a sample.
A Tahua La Rame *****
Aa01 001 430----- ! .
Aa01 002 040----- -
Aa01 003 320----- .
Aa01 004 009----- -
Aa01 005 320----- .
Aa01 006 009----- -
Aa01 007 440----- -
Aa01 008 440----- -
Aa01 009 440----- -
Aa01 010 440----- -
Aa01 011 445----- -
Aa01 012 695----- -
Aa01 013 004----- .
Aa01 014 120a---- -
Aa01 015 004----- .
Each line contains 21 columns.
The first line contains a single-letter code identifying the object (here A, see corpus) followed by its name (Tahua La Rame), right-filled with asterisks to column 21.
Each subsequent line consists of:
When a sequence of (presumably) several signs is worn out, an estimate of their number is given columns 10 to 18 in the format (nnn-nnn), e.g. the eighth line of side a of tablet D, entirely illegible, and which may have held from 10 to 20 signs:
- Column 1: The single-letter code identifying the object.
- Column 2: The side identifier: a, or b, or r for recto, v for verso.
- Columns 3 to 4: Line number, zero-filled.
- Columns 6 to 8: Sign number, zero-filled.
- Columns 10 to 17: Alphanumerical transliteration of sign, using the C.E.I.P.P.'s extended Barthel system, right-filled with hyphens
- Column 19: Sign identification status.
- Blank: identified.
- Question mark: identification is uncertain.
- Exclamation mark: illegible due to wear, or still to be identified. The sign is assigned the code number 000.
- Column 21: connection to next sign (see Barthel's system and extended system)
- Hyphen: juxtaposed, i.e. separate from next sign.
- Period: linked to next sign.
- Colon: above next sign, separate from it.
- Semicolon: above next sign, vertically linked to it.
- Asterisk: at end of line.
Da08 001 (010-020)! *
The alphanumerical transliteration of the corpus on these Web pages has been reformatted to occupy less screen space. E.g. the above excerpt from the Tahua tablet becomes:
The sign consisting of a mere vertical stroke, found only on the Santiago Staff, represented in Barthel's system by a forward slash (/), and in the C.E.I.P.P.'s extended system by 000 (normally standing for any unidentified sign), is represented here by 999 (see the transliteration of the Santiago Staff).