|A great deal of nonsense has been written about the hieroglyphs of Easter Island, even, in fact mostly, in supposedly serious publications, from Carroll's tales in the Journal of the Polynesian Society one hundred years ago to Bahn's juvenile fantasies in New Scientist recently. But who would know that the illustrations of the Santiago Staff published by New Scientist are an artist's fantasy without the slightest resemblance to the real thing? That the vignettes at the top of pp.92-108 of The Atlas of Languages are modern fabrications? (there is a tablet reproduced there p.100, but half of it is out of focus).So, www.rongorongo.org was created to fight ignorance and fantasy peddlers with education.
Since its inception, in March 1999, rongorongo.org has grown to more than 900 HTML pages and 1800 images occupying 17M of disk space.
The first and most urgent task had been to present the corpus of texts. The only reliable source, Thomas Barthel's Grundlagen zur Entzifferung der Osterinselschrift, has long been out of print, was never translated into English, and is quite unobtainable. This was done thanks to the C.E.I.P.P. (Centre d'Études sur l'Île de Pâques et la Polynésie), to whom Barthel bequeathed all his material, and who encourages its diffusion.
Next was presenting the various analyses of the writing and attempts at its decipherment, still an ongoing task.
Following the lucky acquisition of the 1891 Smithsonian Institution's Miscellaneous Papers the complete text of William Thomson's report. was scanned, OCR'ed, and uploaded, with its many illustrations.
A correspondent met over the Net sent photocopies of Eyraud's journal, and of Pinart's travel log, and these were typed in and uploaded. More was contributed__a concordance of the rongorongo corpus for instance__and more will be.