The Enigmas of Easter Island

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Oxford University Press, UK, May 29, 2003 - History - 256 pages
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Easter Island, an isolated speck in the Pacific Ocean, produced one of the most fascinating and yet least understood of ancient cultures. Who were the inhabitants of this unimaginably remote volcanic island? Where did they come from? What, and equally intriguing, how did they erect the giant stone statues found all over the island? And what became of their civilization? - ;Easter Island, an unimaginably remote volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, produced one of the most fascinating and yet least understood prehistoric cultures. Who were its inhabitants, and where did they come from? Why, and equally intriguingly, how did they erect the giant stone statues found all over the island? Paul Bahn and John Flenley tackle these and a host of other questions, introducing us, along the way, to the bizarre birdman cult found in the island's art, and the only recently deciphered Rongorongo script engraved on wooden panels. The Enigmas of Easter Island combines a wealth of new archaeological evidence, intriguing folk memories and the records of Captain Cook and other early explorers, to reveal how the island's decline may stem from ecological catastrophe. The result is a fascinating portrait of a civilization which still retains many of its mysteries. This book, originally published in 1992, was hailed as the best account of Easter Island ever written. Now it has been brought substantially up to date with a wealth of new material. -

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The enigmas of Easter Island: island on the edge

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Theorists have invoked everything from restless spirits to extraterrestrials and anti-gravity to explain Easter Island's giant stone statues. The reality, according to this comprehensive ... Read full review

Review: The Enigmas of Easter Island: Island on the Edge

User Review  - Farida El-gueretly - Goodreads

A very interesting read. I thought the book posed mind-boggling ideas concerning the Easter Islanders and how they reached their demise. I don't think the evidence was substantial and it seemed to ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)


Paul Bahnis one of the leading writers and broadcasters on archaeology for a popular audience. He is the author of the standard introduction to cave art,Images of the Ice Age, The Bluffer's Guide to Archaeology, and the popularArchaeology: A Very Short Introduction.John Flenleyis currently Professor of Geography at Massey University in New Zealand. A world authority on the ecology of tropical rainforests, he was the first to publish evidence that Easter Island was once forested.

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