The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island

The Statues that Walked Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island The monumental statues of Easter Island both 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 the

  • Title: The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island
  • Author: Terry Hunt Carl Lipo
  • ISBN: 9781439150313
  • Page: 271
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The monumental statues of Easter Island, both 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 the island was 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 theThe monumental statues of Easter Island, both 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 the island was 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 Why was the island the Europeans encountered a sparsely populated wasteland 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 and 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 When Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo began carrying out archaeological studies on the island in 2001, they fully expected to find evidence supporting these accounts Instead, revelation after revelation uncovered a very different truth In this lively and fascinating account of Hunt and Lipo s definitive solution to the mystery of what really happened on the island, they introduce the striking series of archaeological discoveries they made, and the path breaking findings of others, which led them to compelling new answers to the most perplexing questions about the history of the island Far from irresponsible environmental destroyers, they show, the Easter Islanders were remarkably inventive environmental stewards, devising ingenious methods to enhance the island s agricultural capacity They did not devastate the palm forest, and the culture did not descend into brutal violence Perhaps most surprising of all, the making and moving of their enormous statutes did not require a bloated population or tax their precious resources their statue building was actually integral to their ability to achieve a delicate balance of sustainability The Easter Islanders, it turns out, offer us an impressive record of masterful environmental management rich with lessons for confronting the daunting environmental challenges of our own time Shattering the conventional wisdom, Hunt and Lipo s ironclad case for a radically different understanding of the story of this most mysterious place is scientific discovery at its very best.

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    About "Terry Hunt Carl Lipo"

    1. Terry Hunt Carl Lipo

      Terry Hunt Carl Lipo Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island book, this is one of the most wanted Terry Hunt Carl Lipo author readers around the world.


    1. I became interested in Easter Island and the South Pacific many years ago after reading Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. In fact, it is a book I pull out and read every five years or so since about 1950. Easter Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1500 miles from any neighbor. The Island is called Rapa Nui by its inhabitants. It is famous for its 900+ enormous stone statues called Moai which dot the landscape.The authors are two archaeologist, Terry Hunt from the University of [...]

    2. I didn’t actually know much about Rapa Nui before I read this book, apart from knowing of the existence of the moai and a vague idea that their civilisation committed “ecocide”, stripping their island of too many resources for it to recover and impoverishing their local environment for good. Hunt and Lipo strongly suggest otherwise, talking about the evidence of clever farming techniques designed to get the best out of the soil, and discussing the actual culprit for the devastation (invasi [...]

    3. Easter Island was always a mysterious place I've wanted to see. Now that I'm getting older, it is officially a bucket list item. While still an exotic destination, this book has taken all the mystery away. Everything (the statues, the people, the deforestation) solved. Great to read about and glad to finally have answers but while all very interesting it lessens the appeal of one of my favorite places. A little mystery is good.I don't have too much to say on this one without spoiling it, so I wi [...]

    4. In this book, Hunt and Lipo make the claim that contrary to Jared Diamond's account of Easter Islanders committing "ecocide", they were actually very good caretakers of their environment and that in the end it was all the fault of the Europeans who came in and messed everything up.I am not sure how much my reaction to this book was informed by having recently read Flenley and Bahn's more recent book on Easter Island. In particular, because it meant I knew more about the investigations about East [...]

    5. The old story is that the crazy cannibal inhabitants of Easter Island cut down all their trees in order to make and move those giant statues, and then went about killing each other as their newly barren island could not support their population. The authors respectfully disagree. They argue that the Polynesian rat deforested the island (by eating the seeds of those palm trees that take 60 years to bear fruit), it only took a few individuals to move the statues refrigerator-style (rocking side to [...]

    6. This book is subtitled "Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island", but that title misrepresents its scope: "Unraveling the Mysteries of Easter Island" would be more accurate. The authors avoid the temptation to consider EI as a single "Big Mystery"; rather, they deconstruct it into a series of interrelated "sub-mysteries", each of which they tackle as an individual chapter, in the interests of correcting the common (mis)understanding of the EI historical and cultural record. These sub-mysteries, [...]

    7. I try not to use superlatives in reviews as a rule, so that reduces me to one word to describe this book: Wow. Everything I thought I knew about Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is pretty much wrong. A lot of it has nothing to do with the statues, which of course everyone wants to hear about. A lot of it has to do with the assumptions people made, sometimes even despite primary sources, about the people of the island itself.The received wisdom for the last several decades has been that the [...]

    8. Excellent piece of revisionist archaeology refuting both the Thor Heyerdahl "light skinned" Ancient Americans vs. Polynesian war and Jered Diamond's Eco-anvil about human fecklessness. When actual data is examined, it seems that the people who arrived around 1200 (a later date than first assumed) did innovative and workable things to make their old volcanic island produce for them, including rock mulching and leeching for their crops. The famous moai statues, far from being the forced focus of t [...]

    9. I went through a swing of reading the Graham Hancocks and Sitchins of the world years ago, so it was nice to return to a crumb of that subject matter, albeit from a more sober and credible angle. The authors dig around and make the case for tweaking the narrative of the pre-European history of the island. The presentation is methodical and understated, but never grinds to a halt. Based on the premise of the book I was fearing that a bunch of Noble Savage-ish sentiment would be shoved down the re [...]

    10. Friends, I freakin love history. Especially ancient, INTERESTING history. Now, my excitement cues up a notch when said history is the subject of a non-fiction audiobook. YOU GUYS! I was beyond pumped up for my purchase of The Statues That Walked: Unraveling The Mystery Of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo on audible during one of those super cheap sales. Unfortunately, the book was much cooler in concept than it was in execution and I ended up with a major case of eye glaze. You guys eve [...]

    11. This was a fascinating look at some of the most recent research into the past of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Some of the conclusions the authors and their research team came to overturn a lot of what was thought to be common knowledge about the islanders, especially what led to the collapse of their civilization. I read and enjoyed Jared Diamond's Collapse years ago, which has a chapter devoted to Rapa Nui, but the authors are pretty hard on his conclusions, namely the idea that the people reckles [...]

    12. Two scholars who have done years of fieldwork on Easter Island have co-written this engaging and mostly satisfying study of the history of Easter Island and its magnificent statues. Plenty of maps and pictures keep the text lively and keep you focused on the island's central mystery: how the hell did people on that tiny, godforsaken island create and move all those hundreds of giant statues centuries ago?Hunt and Lipo have done a lot of research and a lot of digging, and they have created a comp [...]

    13. I'm going to Easter Island next month, in large part because of the description of the history in Jared Diamond's book Collapse. This book just told me that Jared Diamond was, in large measure, wrong. The story of the islanders, the destruction of their forest and the carving and erecting of the Moia told in this book makes the island that much more of a draw for me. It is amazing the detective work that was done to try to recreate the history of Easter Island. A must-read for anyone interested [...]

    14. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This is archaeology at its absolute best - deeply exploring a culture and history in a systematic and integrated fashion. The prose is reader friendly and the authors' willingness to question and test assumptions is refreshing. All of the theories expounded here may not hold up in the longrun, but if they are debunked with as much class and erudition than that will be a very good thing. So glad I finished this on my flight to Rapa Nui and can't wait to [...]

    15. Easter Island, accidentally discovered by Europeans on Easter Sunday in 1722, is the most remote island in the world. Now known as Rapa Nui, this tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean is famous for its 887 enigmatic stone statues that stand with their backs to the sea, gazing forlornly upon the barren island. Called moai by the islanders, they are giants, standing as high as 32 feet and weighing as much as 80 tons each. The islanders carved these giants in a stone quarry and moved them — without [...]

    16. "The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island" - written by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo and published in 2011 by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster. Hunt and Lipo researched, ran experiments and thought very deeply about many aspects of the fascinating monoliths at Easter Island. They write, "To see these statues to sense a hidden drama of compelling human proportions calling out for explanation." Easter Island (Rapa Nui), visited by Europeans on Easter Sunday 1722, [...]

    17. An entertaining exploration of the the history and people of what we call Easter Island. Very well presented, researched and referenced. Easy reading. Wish the pictures could have been better, but then, there's always the Internet to supplement the reading material. It's a short book, about 190 pages, not padded with useless information and well worth the time if you like natural or historic mysteries.

    18. Having travelled to Rapa Nui myself, I can honestly say this book is a fabulous read. It debunks a lot of myths and offers evidence based explanations regarding prehistoric life on the island. It gets a bit waffly and off track at the end, and I wish there’d be more of a mention about the “bird man” cult, but aside from that I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the island and it’s mysteries.

    19. This book explores how the status of Easter Island were created and why. I found it to be very informative, and while it answered many questions and informed me greatly on a subject I knew little about, it left me with more questions.

    20. Read this for my up and coming tour of Rapa Nui in February. I'm anxious to see the island and hear what our program instructors have to say about the mysteries of Easter Island.

    21. This book is well researched and it's clear that the authors have done their homework. I recommend this for anyone who wants to know how to do proper science.

    22. Alternating between fascinating and mind-numbingly boring, Hunt’s position is fundamentally a contrarian one to the “ecocide” theory (espoused most famously by Jared Diamond) of Easter Island’s collapse. Hunt argues that the Rapa Nui people did not arrive on the island c. 500 AD and live in harmony with the island’s environment for 500+ years before cutting down all of the trees to use as rollers for the moai. Instead, he believes, based on some fairly compelling archaeological evidenc [...]

    23. If you were ever curious about the huge rock statues on Easter Island you will find this explanation to be satisfying. This is a very interesting book, in my opinion.

    24. Who doesn't think Easter Island is cool? OK, I have a BA and MA in history and am just fascinated by this stuff. The mystery of physical artifacts such as the giant statues on Easter Island are a soft spot for me. So, I picked this up and enjoyed it. The book is ultimately a fairly dry account of the findings of Terry Hunt and a team of graduate students who did some archeology on the Island a few years back. In addition, Hunt does some synthesis of older works including that of Thor Heyerdahl. [...]

    25. A great book for anyone who is interested in Rapa Nui, and the story of the moai. The writers seem very credible offering their new research as well as taking into a count the work of many others before them. They combine all of this information together and present theories on- what happened to these people and their environment from first colonization to now. The book talks about how they lived, farmed, why it was so important to build these huge statues, how they moved them, and what life was [...]

    26. Fascinating. I have read a number of books and articles over the years that have attempted to explain Easter Island. This is by far the most complete and thorough explanation, based on solid science, that I have come across.The author taps into prior work by other investigators, and identifies where there is conflicting conclusions or supporting data. The author also gives these prior investigators credit where credit is due.The description of how the statues were "walked" to their location is s [...]

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