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Mysterious Jamestown Tablet an American Rosetta Stone?

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posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 06:57 PM
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Mysterious Jamestown Tablet an American Rosetta Stone?

Slate may show early colonist efforts to communicate with Indians.


With the help of enhanced imagery and an expert in Elizabethan script, archaeologists are beginning to unravel the meaning of mysterious text and images etched into a rare 400-year-old slate tablet discovered this past summer at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America...

...The enhancements have helped researchers identify a 16th-century writing style used on the slate and discern new symbols, researchers announced last week. The characters may be from an obscure Algonquian Indian alphabet created by an English scientist to help explorers pronounce the language spoken by the Virginia Indians.




Among the various scripts and handwriting they have found symbols related to a "phonetic Algonquian alphabet invented in 1585 by Thomas Hariot", to better facilitate communication between the colonists and the local indians.

The slate tablet was found in "John Smith's Well", in the center of James Fort.

I have to admit, it was always a bit of a mystery to me how they worked out communications with between the colonists and the native indians.




posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 07:55 PM
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Interesting. It is interesting to actually see a form of a Rosetta Stone, that helped early settlers understand what had to have been totally alien to them.

The first thing I think of is hand gestures must have been the first symbols, then the Rosetta Stone like objects to further educate other settlers.



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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Great post!! It was about time something came to light about the native Americans that first came into contact with Europeans (Spaniards kept records but they followed a rather peculiar modus operandi, they first enslaved/slaughtered the natives and then asked to know about languages, history, etc). If it leads to some form of "translation" or deeper understanding of the language of that region's native people all the better!

As for the communication between colonists/explorers and natives, hand gestures must have been the first thing that they used. Perhaps they used "sample" bits of what they needed to SHOW the natives what they were in need of (since they couldn't tell them what they needed anyway). Like, showing a band of natives some meat or fish or a loaf of bread, along with gestures that mean "eating" can send the message that "we need food" to people that otherwise cannot understand you.

Flagged!!



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