Titles About Easter Island
The monumental statues of Easter Island, so magisterial and so forlorn, gazing out in their imposing rows over the island’s barren landscape, have been the source of great mystery ever since first discovered by Europeans on Easter Sunday 1722. How could the ancient people who inhabited this tiny speck of land, the most remote in the vast expanse of the Pacific islands, have built such monumental works? No such astonishing numbers of massive statues are found anywhere else in the Pacific. How could the islanders possibly have moved so many multi-ton monoliths from the quarry inland, where they were carved, to their posts along the coastline? And most intriguing and vexing of all, if the island once boasted a culture developed and sophisticated enough to have produced such marvelous edifices, what happened to that culture? The prevailing accounts of the island’s history tell a story of self-inflicted devastation: a glaring case of eco-suicide. The island was dominated by a powerful chiefdom that promulgated a cult of statue making, exercising a ruthless hold on the island’s people and rapaciously destroying the environment, cutting down a lush palm forest that once blanketed the island in order to construct contraptions for moving more and more statues, which grew larger and larger. As the population swelled in order to sustain the statue cult, growing well beyond the island’s agricultural capacity, a vicious cycle of warfare broke out between opposing groups, and the culture ultimately suffered a dramatic collapse.
The essential guidebook to this mysterious and enigmatic island, and the only title about Easter Island written by someone who lives there. This guidebook includes the island’s history, culture and all of its significant archaeological sites. It also contains all of the practical information needed for your visit, including island activities and up-to-date restaurant and shopping recommendations. It will also tell you the best times to visit the sites in order to get the optimal light for photography and to avoid the crowds, as well as many other ‘local’ tips that no other guidebook will tell you.
Easter Island, isolated deep in the South Pacific and now a World Heritage Site, was home to a fascinating prehistoric culture, one that produced massive stone effigies (the moai) and the birdman cult, and yet much of the island’s past remains shrouded in mystery. Where did the islanders come from, and when? How did Rapa Nui culture evolve over the centuries? How, and why, did their natural environment change over time?
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