By John Flenley, Paul Bahn
Easter Island, an unimaginably remote volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, produced one of the most fascinating and yet least understood prehistoric cultures. Who were its inhabitants, and where did they come from? Why, and equally intriguingly, how did they erect the giant stone statuesfound all over the island? Paul Bahn and John Flenley tackle these and a host of other questions, introducing us, along the way, to the bizarre birdman cult found in the island's art, and the only recently deciphered Rongorongo script engraved on wooden panels. The Enigmas of Easter Island combines a wealth of newarchaeological evidence, intriguing folk memories and the records of Captain Cook and other early explorers, to reveal how the island's decline may stem from ecological catastrophe. The result is a fascinating portrait of a civilization which still retains many of its mysteries. This book, originally published in 1992, was hailed as the best account of Easter Island ever written. Now it has been brought substantially up to date with a wealth of new material.