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EASTER ISLAND: THE GREAT TABOO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Easter Island The Great Taboo
Bradshaw Foundation Books
Rebuilding its history after ten years of excavations by Nicolas Cauwe
 
• Paperback: 160 pages
• Publisher: Versant Sud (31 Oct 2011)
• ISBN-10: 2930358556
• ISBN-13: 978-2930358550
 
For too long, the ancient history of Easter Island has been associated with ecological disaster, social conflict and cultural collapse. Today, thanks to archaeological digs carried out over a period of more than 10 years, the island has rediscovered a fresh part of its history and has an opportunity to better understand its past. To ensure that these new archaeological discoveries receive the publicity which they deserve, Editions Versant Sud will publish this beautiful full colour book which presents a fascinating account of the new evidence which has turned our knowledge of Easter Island onto its head. In particular, the book sheds new light on the causes of deforestation, supposed periods of famine, folk memories of social tension and clan wars, the overturning of the giant stone figures and the legends associated with them.
 
Bradshaw Foundation - Editor's Review
 
The clarity of thought matches the clarity of presentation in Nicolas Cauwe's new publication. The twelve years of archaeological research by the team from the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels, directed by the author, allows for the scientific analysis of an evolving - or mutating - anthropological and ecological scenario which has often been hijacked by romantic and dramatic Western notions. Cauwe rightly points out that change was underway 'at the time of the arrival of the eighteenth century explorers. They were not aware of it, but no one could have been on first discovering a hitherto unknown people. The first step of new arrivals is to describe the present; the underlying dynamic can only be discerned later, with hindsight.' And this is what 'Easter Island: The Great Taboo' manages to do, as an absorbing read; examining the island, the genetic origins, the culture and the ecology over a critical period of time, without belittling an indigenous cultural heritage of folk memories and legends.
 
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Nicolas Cauwe
Nicolas Cauwe, PhD (University of Liege), is the Curator of the Pre-History and Oceania collection at the Royal Art & History Museum, Brussels and lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain.
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