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Keyword: rapanui

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  • Easter Island drug 'adds decade to life'

    07/09/2009 1:04:01 PM PDT · by djf · 49 replies · 2,491+ views
    The Sun ^ | 7/9/2009 | Emma Morton
    SCIENTISTS say they have discovered a wonder drug that could help people live up to ten years longer. Rapamycin is a bacterial product found in soil samples on remote Easter Island in the South Pacific. It works by inhibiting a protein called TOR that plays a key role in cell growth. Rapamycin is widely used to stop transplant patients rejecting their new organs.
  • Did Easter Island Really Collapse?

    01/06/2015 2:28:02 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Tuesday, January 06, 2015 | editors
    A new study contradicts the idea that the prehistoric Rapa Nui people of Easter Island suffered a demographic collapse brought on by poor environmental stewardship. Scholars had theorized that unchecked agricultural growth after the first settlers arrived around A.D. 1200 strained the island's fragile ecosystem to the breaking point, leading to the erosion of topsoil and the eventual death by starvation of many members of Rapa Nui society. But prehistoric demographics are notoriously difficult to determine with precision. Phys.org reports that an international research team has evaluated the claim that the population of Easter Island collapsed by studying how land...
  • Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

    12/19/2014 11:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    University of Otago ^ | Tuesday, 16 December 2014 | Ms Monica Tromp
    Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonised around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries. However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon...
  • Thor Heyerdahl and the Pyramids of Greece

    04/25/2002 4:35:53 PM PDT · by Richard Poe · 18 replies · 1,554+ views
    RichardPoe.com ^ | April 26, 2002 | Richard Poe
    WITH ALL THE WAR NEWS blaring from our TV sets, few Americans found time last week to mark the passing of 87-year-old Thor Heyerdahl. Yet his death haunts and accuses us, like a dagger pointed at our hearts. The great Norwegian explorer lived as few men dare to live in this effeminate age. Heyerdahl roamed the seas in primitive, handmade craft, as intimate with death as his Viking forebears had been. In 1947, he sailed more than 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a balsa-log raft named Kon-Tiki. He crossed the Atlantic in 1970, in a ship of reeds,...
  • In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl

    08/16/2002 1:32:09 PM PDT · by Richard Poe · 35 replies · 978+ views
    RichardPoe.com ^ | August 16, 2002 | Richard Poe
    WHEN THOR HEYERDAHL died in April, the mass media fell oddly mute. Some readers told me that they learned of the great Norwegian explorer’s death only a week later, by reading my eulogy on the Internet. Such apathy seems hard to fathom. Every schoolboy once read Kon-Tiki and dreamed of conquering the waves as Heyerdahl had done. Perhaps, imbued with the modern philosophy of "safety first," today’s journalists no longer wish to encourage such dreams. Media apathy has likewise greeted Dominique Goerlitz – Heyerdahl’s apprentice and heir apparent. On July 20, this 35-year-old German schoolteacher landed in Alexandria, Egypt, after...
  • In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl

    09/19/2002 2:02:05 PM PDT · by robowombat · 5 replies · 183+ views
    richard poe.com ^ | August 16, 2002 | Richard Poe
    In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl By Richard Poe August 16, 2002 WHEN THOR HEYERDAHL died in April, the mass media fell oddly mute. Some readers told me that they learned of the great Norwegian explorer’s death only a week later, by reading my eulogy on the Internet. Such apathy seems hard to fathom. Every schoolboy once read Kon-Tiki and dreamed of conquering the waves as Heyerdahl had done. Perhaps, imbued with the modern philosophy of "safety first," today’s journalists no longer wish to encourage such dreams. Media apathy has likewise greeted Dominique Goerlitz – Heyerdahl’s apprentice and heir apparent. On...
  • Floating A Big Idea: Ancient Use Of Rafts To Transport Goods Demonstrated

    03/22/2008 11:08:17 AM PDT · by blam · 25 replies · 702+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-22-2008 | MIT
    Floating A Big Idea: Ancient Use Of Rafts To Transport Goods DemonstratedMIT students built a small-scale replica of an ancient oceangoing sailing raft to study its seaworthiness and handling. (Credit: Donna Coveney/MIT) ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2008) — Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and carried tradegoods for thousands of miles all the way from modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Details of how the ancient trading system worked more than 1,000 years ago were reconstructed...
  • Top 100 Stories of 2008 #96: Ancient Traders Sailed the South American Seas

    12/06/2008 8:28:44 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 550+ views
    Journal Of Anthropological Research ^ | Volume 64, Number 1, Abstracts | Leslie Dewan and Dorothy Hosler
    Abstract: By approximately 100 BC Ecuadorian traders had established maritime commercial routes extending from Chile to Colombia. Historical sources indicate that they transported their merchandise in large, ocean-going sailing rafts made of balsa logs. By about AD 700 the data show that Ecuadorian metalworking technology had reached the west coast of Mexico but remained absent in the region between Guerrero and lower Central America. Archaeologists have argued that this technology was most plausibly transmitted via balsa raft exchange routes. This article uses mathematical simulation of balsa rafts’ mechanical and material characteristics to determine whether these rafts were suitable vessels for...
  • Ancient Trading Raft Sails Anew [ Thor Heyerdahl did it first ]

    05/15/2009 7:08:30 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 55 replies · 1,718+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 13, 2009 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    For the first time in nearly 500 years, a full-size balsa-wood raft just like those used in pre-Columbian Pacific trade took to the water on Sunday, May 10. Only this time, instead of the Pacific coast between Mexico and Chile where such rafts carried goods between the great civilizations of the Andes and Mesoamerica as long as a millennium ago, the replica raft was floated in the Charles River basin. The faithful reproduction of the ancient sailing craft, built from eight balsa logs brought from Ecuador for the project, was created in less than six weeks by 30 students in...
  • Early Americans helped colonise Easter Island

    06/09/2011 8:46:24 AM PDT · by Renfield · 13 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 06-06-2011 | Michael Marshall
    South Americans helped colonise Easter Island centuries before Europeans reached it. Clear genetic evidence has, for the first time, given support to elements of this controversial theory showing that while the remote island was mostly colonised from the west, there was also some influx of people from the Americas. ~~~snip~~~ Now Erik Thorsby of the University of Oslo in Norway has found clear evidence to support elements of Heyerdahl's hypothesis. In 1971 and 2008 he collected blood samples from Easter Islanders whose ancestors had not interbred with Europeans and other visitors to the island. Thorsby looked at the HLA genes,...
  • Fighting the Fungus [ Easter Island statues threatened by lichens ]

    10/08/2010 5:45:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    The Art Newspaper ^ | Saturday, October 9, 2010 | Tina Lepri
    Lichen are eating away at the Moai, the 400 volcanic stone heads that dominate the skyline of Easter Island. Earlier treatments to preserve these ancient monoliths at this World Heritage Site called for filling some of the most deeply corroded stones with concrete. Unfortunately, experts think that this treatment might have worsened the damaging effects of the wind and saltwater that batter the Polynesian island. In fact, the lichen may even be feeding off the concrete used to save the Moai. Professor Lorenzo Casamenti and five of his students from the restoration school Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence have found...
  • Clues to Prehistoric Human Exploration Found in Sweet Potato Genome

    01/21/2013 8:39:59 PM PST · by Theoria · 25 replies
    Science ^ | 21 Jan 2013 | Lizzie Wade
    Europeans raced across oceans and continents during the Age of Exploration in search of territory and riches. But when they reached the South Pacific, they found they had been beaten there by a more humble traveler: the sweet potato. Now, a new study suggests that the plant's genetics may be the key to unraveling another great age of exploration, one that predated European expansion by several hundred years and remains an anthropological enigma. Humans domesticated the sweet potato in the Peruvian highlands about 8000 years ago, and previous generations of scholars believed that Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced the crop...
  • Easter Island's Ancient Inhabitants Weren't So Lonely After All

    10/23/2014 2:15:04 PM PDT · by blam · 21 replies
    BI - Reuters ^ | 10-23-2014 | Will Dunham, Reuters
    Will Dunham October 23, 2014 They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. Scientists who conducted a genetic study, published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology, found these ancient people had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years before the first Westerners reached the...
  • New study challenges theories on Easter Island collapse

    12/12/2013 11:08:52 AM PST · by Theoria · 52 replies
    KITV ^ | 10 Dec 2013 | KITV
    Bishop Museum's Dr. Mulrooney conducted 6-year study on Rapa Nui Bishop Museum's assistant anthropologist, Dr. Mara Mulrooney, conducted a six-year study on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, about the island's theoretical civilization collapse. Results from her groundbreaking doctoral dissertation entitled "Continuity or Collapse? Diachronic Settlement and Land Use in Hanga Ho'onu, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)" are outlined in an article published in the December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. This new evidence debunks previous theories that the islanders "self-destructed" before Europeans first visited in 1722. As popularized in Jared Diamond's 2005 book Collapse, Rapa Nui is...
  • No seafood for early Easter Islanders -- they ate rats

    09/27/2013 3:48:08 AM PDT · by Renfield · 22 replies
    NBC News ^ | 9-26-2013 | Owen Jarus
    Chemical analyses of teeth from 41 human skeletons excavated on Easter Island revealed the inhabitants ate rats rather than seafood; Here, Moai statues at Ahu Tongariki on the south-eastern part of the island, where 26 of the skeletons were found. The inhabitants of Easter Island consumed a diet that was lacking in seafood and was, literally, quite ratty. The island, also called Rapa Nui, first settled around A.D. 1200, is famous for its more than 1,000 "walking" Moai statues, most of which originally faced inland. Located in the South Pacific, Rapa Nui is the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth;...
  • Mysterious Easter Island Heads Have Bodies Too

    Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of visitors to the island have been astonished to see that, indeed, Easter Island statues have bodies
  • Did Easter Islanders Mix It Up With South Americans?

    02/08/2012 7:20:56 AM PST · by Theoria · 16 replies · 1+ views
    Science ^ | 06 Feb 2012 | Andrew Lawler
    The scattered islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were settled by seafarers who set out from the eastern coasts and islands of Asia and traveled thousands of kilometers by boat. Meanwhile pre-Columbian South America was populated by people who crossed a now-vanished land bridge far to the north. Did these two groups ever meet in the New World? There's a good chance of that, according to a new study, which finds evidence that Easter Islanders may have reached South America and mixed with the Native Americans already there. University of Oslo immunologist Erik Thorsby first began analyzing the people of...
  • Bodies of Easter Island’s famous heads revealed

    05/14/2012 12:31:31 AM PDT · by bkopto · 73 replies
    AllTop ^ | 5/12/2012 | staff
    The head statuary of Easter Island is instantly recognizable to people all over the world, but who would have guessed that, lurking beneath the soil, these famous mugs also had bodies? The Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative, which is funded by the Archaeological Institute of America, has been excavating two of the enormous figures for the last several years, and have found unique petroglyphs carved on their backs that had been conserved in the soil. Their research has also yielded evidence of how the carvers were paid with food such as tuna and lobster, as well as clues to...
  • How Easter Island's statues walked

    06/21/2012 3:47:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Cosmic Log ^ | Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Alan Boyle
    Did Easter Island's famous statues rock, or roll? After doing a little rocking out themselves, researchers say they're sure the natives raised the monumental figures upright, and then rocked them back and forth to "walk" them to their positions. Their findings mesh with a scenario that casts the Polynesian island's natives in the roles of resourceful engineers working with the little that they had on hand, rather than the victims of a self-inflicted environmental catastrophe. "A lot of what people think they know about the island turns out to be not true," Carl Lipo, an archaeologist at California State University...
  • Polynesian paddle fetches nearly $340,000

    04/17/2010 5:10:34 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 18 replies · 669+ views
    upi ^ | April 17, 2010
    ISLE OF WIGHT, England - A 100-year-old wooden paddle used in Polynesian dance ceremonies before becoming a household ornament fetched nearly $340,000 at a British auction. Bidders in London and Brussels quickly upped the price on the paddle after bidding started at just $4,629, The Times of London reported. The ceremonial paddle, known as a rapa, originated on Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific, where performers used the paddles to accentuate movements in dances and ceremonies. Tim Smith of Isle of Wight auctioneers Island Auction Rooms in Shanklin set a guide price of $15,341. "When the money started going up,...