The most enjoyable were the clear and convincing arguments for what really transpired on the island, and the realization that the island's history is vastly different than what was believed until very recent times.
The most enjoyable part of the story was the authors reasoning for purpose of statue building and how that played an important role in the island's delicate ecosystem.
Very clear and well read. Excellent preformance.
Also fascinating were the lessons that can be drawn from the island's history, which can provide valuable insight into present day global issues of diminishing resources.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
The description of this book is not very good. Here's the story: there's an island, it's isolated from those near it. It's devoid of trees. It has no reefs, so there are few fish to catch. There are no large animals to hunt. It's only 64 square miles large. Oh yeah, and somehow and for some reason the indigenous people didn't die out but managed to make over 900 multi-ton statues of human faces and move them from a quarry in the middle of the island to the shores, all facing inward. So what happened?
This book, written by two scientists who have studied Easter Island for many years, take you through the evidence in the soil, the remains and the artifacts and tackle one individual mystery after another until your perception of this small island and these amazing people has completely altered. It's a little clerical, a little less storytelling than scientific analysis, but it's an amazing read. The thought process and the way these people look at the real data and come to completely new conclusions that in hindsight make such sense, is the way people should confront the problems in their own lives.
Also, it's such a good story of history and pre-history that you should definitely add it to your cart.
I'm not a big reader (or listener) of non-fiction books (though I'm big on National Geographic, Smithsonian, Science magazines), but I found this book kept me as fascinated as a great novel - not a dry text book style non-fiction book, but rather one that gives life to history. I enjoyed this very much and it has led to many discussions.
I originally picked this book up to get a more thorough understanding of the history of the statues that exist on Easter Island and what I received was so much more. The authors take you on a journey of understanding the inhabitants of this small island, their challenges, and what life was like with finite resources. You leave understanding why they created the statues in such mass, how they moved them, and what life was like after they were visited by various expeditions.
It was an eye opening listen that I'm glad I endured. Be prepared for a bit of social psychology, physics, and history all rolled into this one.
I remember watching shows on Easter Island but this book was fantastic as far as the history of the island and how they carved the stones and moved them. It was a great learning experience for me.
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. Of course Heyerdahl was trying to show that ancient South American's brought statue moving technology to Polynesia... Never the less, well written and engaging.
The high point of the story is the myth of the statues walking. It turns out that they were made to walk with a little help of a team of islanders and then modified to stay in place once moved. Hunt's chapters on how the 9 to 19 ton statues moved from the quarry to their posts on platforms around the island is really interesting. Other explorations of how grass grew - not so much. Never the less, this is a complete history of the island and it's people based on the most current study. Well researched, well written and clearly articulated. I enjoyed this book, though I am not sure a non "history geek" would be riveted. If you are interested, this is a relatively short study. If you are not a fan of non-fiction, this is not a good book to experiment with.
The interesting people that inhabited Easter Island.
Wish I could.
Great history lesson for one and all.
A book of really interesting and well supported theories, that counter the prevailing theories about what happened to the statue builders of Easter Island. It also provides insight into Polynesian culture and its adaptability in difficult circumstances.
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 will sum it up with a quote from Commander Barclay of the HMS Topaz from the book. It is regarding the consequence of Europeans arriving on the shores of Easter Island.
"It is a sad fact that in these islands as in North America, wherever the white man establishes himself, the aborigines perish."
No matter how benign their intent, makes me wonder what would happen to us should aliens ever come to Earth.
Mysterious Polynesian People
Engineering of Rapanui people: how they curved and moved the statues are amazing.
Not really, there were too many examples of archeological surveys in other areas.
Archeological survey does not always reveal truth, because sometimes it is based on hypothesis.