The Enigmas of Easter Island

The Enigmas of Easter Island

3.46 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 274 pages
  • 164 x 234 x 26mm | 662.24g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 9pp full colour plates; numerous halftones and line drawings
  • 0192803409
  • 9780192803405

Review quote

"In dispelling the mythology of Easter Island, they show us a society that is all the more interesting for being recognizably human."--Publishers Weekly "In dispelling the mythology of Easter Island, they show us a society that is all the more interesting for being recognizably human."--Publishers Weekly "In dispelling the mythology of Easter Island, they show us a society that is all the more interesting for being recognizably human."--Publishers Weekly "In dispelling the mythology of Easter Island, they show us a society that is all the more interesting for being recognizably human."--Publishers Weeklyshow more

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction: European Discovery; 1. The Island and its Geography; 2. WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?; 3. How Did They Get There, and Why?; 4. Living on an Island; 5. STATUES AND CEREMONIES; 6. The Riddle of the Quarry; 7. Rocking or Rolling: How were the Statues moved?; 8. Platforms and Pukao: Erecting the Statues; 9. CRASH GO THE ANCESTORS; 10. Orongo and Rongorongo; 11. Conclusion: The Island that Self-Destructed; Epilogue: The Lessons of Easter Islandshow more

About John R. Flenley

Paul Bahn is 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 popular Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction. John Flenley is 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.show more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.46 out of 5 stars
5 8% (2)
4 42% (11)
3 38% (10)
2 12% (3)
1 0% (0)
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