Ancient wooden tablet with ‘undecipherable message’ in unknown language found on remote Easter Island


AN undecipherable ancient tablet discovered on Easter Island has been dated to the 15th century.

This date suggests it existed before Europeans arrived and that’s led to new questions about the language it’s inscribed with.


No one knows what the rare tablet says but the language has been called RongorongoCredit: Getty

The wooden tablet contains a script that’s been called Rongorongo.

It was found on the Eastern Pacific island of Rapa Nui, which is also known as Easter Island.

A new study dated the tablet that was residing in Rome.

It was dated between 1493 and 1509, according to the research published in Scientific Reports.

The new radiocarbon dates suggest the language was being used 200 years before Europeans arrived in the area.

This means the text could be one of the few examples of an independently created writing system, according to Live Science.

“Placing the origin of an undeciphered script in time is crucial to understanding the invention of writing in human history.

“Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, developed a script, now engraved on fewer than 30 wooden objects, which is still undeciphered. Its origins are also obscure.

“Central to this issue is whether the script was invented before European travelers reached the island in the eighteenth century AD,” the researchers wrote.

The Rongorongo glyphs look completely different from European text.

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To date, no one knows what they mean.

There are actually four rongorongo tablets in Rome.

They were taken from Easter Island by Catholic missionaries in 1869.

A bishop in Tahiti received them first and then sent them to Europe.