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Polynesian Pyramids

12 July 2010

At www.physorg.com/print197873712.html we have a story on Polynesian temples on one particular island, Mo’orea – their evolution from small to monumental pyramids took place in less than 140 years. A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used what is said to be high precision thorium/uranium dating methodology to process samples of decorative veneers and religious offerings – all made of coral, found at 22 different temple sites. The process is commonly used to date fossils and is said to ‘precisely’ determine the age of calcium carbonate material such as coral – which was collected when it was still alive. The evolution from small to largest temple took place between 1620 and 1760AD, a highly significant time zone (not picked up by the article writers). The development from small to big, it is assumed, was due to competition between rival groups – on the same island? They were built in honour of the cult of ‘Oro, the god of war and fertility. The altar platforms gradually gravitated higher and higher and nearer to the god – and they were fed with human sacrifice. Is it a coincidence that the period 1620-1760 is associated with the lowest temperatures of the Little Ice Age? Why might this be so? During the same period we had the English Civil War, the Scottish Covenanters, and Irish rebellion – and a host of strange sects that thought the world was about to come to an end. Is there any evidence of enhanced meteoric activity in the sky (an angry god requiring placation) or the appearance of comets looming large in the heavens? – or any kind of event seen in the sky and more dramatic in a mid-Pacific setting. Do we know anything about what the people of Mo’orea themselves had to say about the sky in the time leading up to European colonisation? We do know that when the white sails of Cook’s ship was first seen in the late 1760s that Polynesians mistook the apparition as the return of a sky god – as the ship straddled the far horizon at the border between ocean and sky, and came out to greet him bearing gifts etc. It is also known that Polynesian chiefs had names that recalled prominent objects in the sky in the year of their inauguration – such as bright stars, conjunctions, comets, meteor trails, and novae.

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