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Tonga settlement

3 December 2012

At www.sci-news.com/archaeology/article00715.html … the first human settlers to arrive on Tonga, a South Sea island group in the Pacific, is now set between 840 and 820BC which is quite an intriguing date. I say this because in the Biblical narrative some strange things were going on with Elijah and Elisha involved, including what some people have interpreted as a revolving falling bolide of some description. The description of Elijah transported into the heavens during an event involving wheels within wheels has variously been interpreted as an alien space craft to some form of esoteric exprience – so there is nothing certain at this point. However, more down to earth, we do know that the period was associated with drought and famine, an earthquake in Israel or the Transjordan (recorded on the Mesha Stone from Moab), and some kind of setback that caused Jehu to rebel against the otherwise highly successful dynasty of Omri and slaughter every one of their number including women and children. It didn't do him a lot of good, though, as his reign was just a catalogue of disasters – as a result of continued inroads by Aramean tribesmen. Traditionally, pastoral tribes from the Syrian steppe zone were a perennial problem when drought reduced the amount of grass growing on the steppe. They tended to impact on the settled communities to the east and west of the Euphrates valley. However, would a movement of the monsoon belt affecting the Near and Middle East also have an effect in the Pacific. In Polynesian mythology their migrations are sometimes linked to events in the sky – the appearance of a bright comet, a heavy meteor storm, a faint novae, or a more impressive supernovae, that sort of thing. A falling bolide may have sparked them to migrate, striking out into the Pacific. The story above does not of course join the dots – and why should it. People interpret the tale of Elijah in quite different ways, the dividing line that gave birth to the age of the prophets (in the 8th  and 7th centuries BC). In Britain this was the apogee of the druids, a mixture of prophet, medicine man, and astronomer, famous for dressing up and standing on one leg with one arm behind their backs and hurling insults at the Romans. What did the one legged one armed man represent – a falling bolide? We've all heard of Isaiah standing on the watchtower searching the horizon – or was it the sky. Was he afeared of the approach of the Assyrians – or what the sky might unleash. On the other hand, the date of the arrival in Tonga of the Polynesians may simply be coincidental and amount to nothing of note.

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