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The statues that walked : unraveling the mystery of Easter Island
Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo
Adult Nonfiction F3169 .H86 2011

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Hunt (anthropology, Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa) and Lipo (anthropology, California State Univ., Long Beach) reconsider the mysteries of Easter Island (Rapa Nui), with its monumental statues-moai-that have generated fascination since the island's European discovery in 1722. Captain Cook in 1774 noted the island lacked wood and fresh water or signs of tools to have created the gigantic statues. The authors trace the oral histories that passed down the belief that the imprudence of islanders resulted in the island's barren, impoverished state, and they trace the legend of competition between two groups, the "Long Ears" and "Short Ears." Thor Heyerdahl, who studied and wrote about Easter Island, believed the two groups clashed in 1680, and that conflict resulted in demographic and environmental collapse. Jared Diamond, in Collapse, theorizes that cutting down the forests of giant palm trees for the creation and transportation of the huge statues led to the devastation of the island. Hunt and Lipo, writing about their fieldwork and that of others, are optimistic about the island's future. -VERDICT Readers of literature on Easter Island will delight in the authors' insights on how the statues "walked" and the plentiful rat bone finds, but most of all, they'll appreciate the book's clarity. It should attract a wide readership among both adventure-loving lay readers and anthropologists/archaeologists.-Joan W. Gartland, Macomb Community Coll. Libs., Warren, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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