Re-writing Rapa Nui Prehistory and the (not so?) Surprising Reactions

February 23, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, 325 Henke Hall

In this talk, Dr. Terry Hunt describes over a decade of archaeological field research on Rapa Nui/Easter Island. This work led him and co-author Carl Lipo to dramatically re-write the prehistory for this famous island in their book, The Statues that Walked (Free Press, New York 2011). The book led to a forthcoming National Geographic/Nova television documentary scheduled to air this spring. But revising the iconic story of Rapa Nui has had its detractors, including well-known authors such as Jared Diamond. Hunt describes the sometimes surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, reactions from the front lines of a battle about science and its public dissemination. His story reveals that scientists aren't always scientific when it comes to hot-button issues.

Terry L. Hunt is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, adjunct Professor in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, as well as the Director of the Honors Program at University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa. His research and teaching are focused on Pacific Island archaeology and palaeo-environment change. His continuing research on Rapa Nui addresses questions concerning the trajectory of cultural and ecological changes, including the role of the colossal statues and monuments in the ancient society.

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

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