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Easter Island
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ttaarraassOffline
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PostPosted: 09-01-2003 21:07    Post subject: If you're reading this... (in the UK) Reply with quote

You are either missing (until 10pm on Thursday) or have missed Horizon investigating Easter Island on BBC2.
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mejane1Offline
miaow, miaow... purrrr
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PostPosted: 09-01-2003 21:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm watching and surfing... Smile

They seem to be blaming it all on the Europeans again Sad

I always thought it was the lack of trees, but nevermind.

Jane (only half-watching, obviously)
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-01-2003 00:07    Post subject: Re: If you're reading this... (in the UK) Reply with quote

taras wrote:

You are either missing (until 10pm on Thursday) or have missed Horizon investigating Easter Island on BBC2.


No I saw it! Ha, Ha.

There was nothing on TV afterwards so I desided to email a friend and ended up here (as usual.)

And no, Mejane, they wheren't blaming the Europeans just pointing out that they brought Syphilis and slavery to Easter Island. Now that can't be said to be to blame for the colapse of the civalisation can it?
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mejane1Offline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2003 01:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably correct, James.

I'm not very good with visual formats* so I don't tend to take much attention to TV, but the impression I got was certainly "we introduced desease to a perfect community - we bad!"

I always thought that the civilization of Easter Island collapsed long before Europeans arrived as they had cut down all all the native trees on the island to "please the gods" by building and transporting those huge efigies (sp?) ... the arrival of the Spaniads and their viruses was just the last resort.

I could be wrong, of course Smile

Jane.

*I'm not blind or "visually impaired"; I just think in terms of sound... I may be weird.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-01-2003 01:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

mejane wrote:

You're probably correct, James.

I'm not very good with visual formats* so I don't tend to take much attention to TV, but the impression I got was certainly "we introduced desease to a perfect community - we bad!"

I always thought that the civilization of Easter Island collapsed long before Europeans arrived as they had cut down all all the native trees on the island to "please the gods" by building and transporting those huge efigies (sp?) ... the arrival of the Spaniads and their viruses was just the last resort.

I could be wrong, of course Smile

Jane.

*I'm not blind or "visually impaired"; I just think in terms of sound... I may be weird.


Actualy acording to the program you're half right.

They choped down all the trees but managed to pull themselfs back from the brink by inventing a new belief system that alowed the orderd proportoning of food.

Then the Europeans came...

On the subject of slavery: Scotland was one of the major european slave tradors. You dont get that on shortbread tins.
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ZoffreOffline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2003 01:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought some of the theorising was a bit dubious. Like the bit about them using the "birdman" ritual to decide who would get the biggest share of the limited resources.

Firstly, they didn't seem to back it up with any specific evidence other than the carvings, which could have symbolised anything.

Secondly, they had said that the lack of palm trees caused problems with the soil (erosion, lack of nutrients etc) so that the harvests failed, so consequently there was no food and they resorted to cannibalism - if this theory was correct then there wouldn't have been any food to share out in the first place.

And thirdly, if they knew how to grow and harvest crops then I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have the necessary knowledge to be able to grow more palm trees so that they had a constant supply.

I felt that the depletion of the palm trees would more likely have resulted from climatic changes (which may have also caused the depletion of fish and birds in the area). But that's just my theory - I have no knowledge of this subject err

Still, an interesting program, and those statues really are magnificent Smile
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-01-2003 01:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadCat wrote:


I felt that the depletion of the palm trees would more likely have resulted from climatic changes (which may have also caused the depletion of fish and birds in the area).


Actualy that's what I thought. But alas, I also have no knowlage on this subject.
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BilderbergerOffline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2003 11:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

The programme was billed as having revoluntionary new information and ideas about the down-fall of the Easter Island civilisation. Was it just me or was the idea of deforestation being the route cause a rather old theory? Most disappointing. (although it did pander to my ego as I told me wife this theory before watching and was superbly proved right by the programme - thus making me look more intelligent than I am;) ).

Still, well made programme - very entertaining.

It is inevitable that many people will say "not sure about that part of the programme - where were the total facts?" I always think that misses the point - the programme is about a theory (or set of theories) and such programmes never claim to be telling a full factual account. If an academic is extrapoloating from evidence, I always assume that people have the sense to see that they are just talking about a theory from the evidence - not claiming 100% accuracy.

If we lived in a world where nothing can be said unless there is 100% evidence - archaeology would be a dead subject.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 10-01-2003 11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, Missed it!

There was a film about Easter Island wasn't there? 'Rapa Nui'? with Jason Scott Lee?
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Guest
PostPosted: 10-01-2003 12:31    Post subject: Too True... Reply with quote

jamesveldon wrote:

On the subject of slavery: Scotland was one of the major european slave tradors. You dont get that on shortbread tins.
And one of their major exports was Highlanders and the Scots poor to the West Indies and the Americas! As bonded slaves.
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Cult_of_ManaOffline
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PostPosted: 10-01-2003 23:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

The program was a bit pants really. Nothing new was said. The whole business with the statues eyes was not entirely correct. The eyes weren't positioned to gaze over the land, they were looking skywards.
I'd like to see some serious research done into the beginnings of the moai cult. What prompted the islanders to erect all these statues? It must have a cosmological connection. Unfortunately a possible 'star map' was destroyed when the airport runway was built.
While we are on the subject of Easter Island I'd just like to say how totally unimpressed I am with the positioning of the British Museum's statue. It's on a big pedestal next to the coffee shop. The coffee shop! Jeez. The lighting in that area is appalling and so you can barely see the petroglyghs carved on the statue's back. This particular statue is in an excellent state of preservation (due to it being buried) and you can see feck all of 'classic' moai features. Ok, rant over:p
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BilderbergerOffline
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PostPosted: 11-01-2003 00:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Errrrrrrrrr...........I think the programme made the point that the eyes were looking upward......heaven-ward........above the normal mortal day-to-day human.

Or did I just imagine this?
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Guest
PostPosted: 11-01-2003 00:11    Post subject: Oh No! I'm Having A Roland Barthes Moment! Reply with quote

Mana wrote:

While we are on the subject of Easter Island I'd just like to say how totally unimpressed I am with the positioning of the British Museum's statue. It's on a big pedestal next to the coffee shop. The coffee shop! Jeez. The lighting in that area is appalling and so you can barely see the petroglyghs carved on the statue's back. This particular statue is in an excellent state of preservation (due to it being buried) and you can see feck all of 'classic' moai features. Ok, rant over:p
The whole point of some museums, particularily the 'great' museums of Empire, is to contain and neutralise otherness, alieness and the 'savage.' To make it safe, for repressed and stunted petit bourgesois sensibilities.

Think of those fabulous Benin bronzes, stripped and looted from their African homeland and relegated to a stairwell in the BM.


Last edited by Guest on 11-01-2003 00:13; edited 1 time in total
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 11-01-2003 00:25    Post subject: Re: Too True... Reply with quote

AndroMan wrote:

And one of their major exports was Highlanders and the Scots poor to the West Indies and the Americas! As bonded slaves.


All to true Mr. Andro.
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Cult_of_ManaOffline
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PostPosted: 11-01-2003 12:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bilderberger wrote:

Errrrrrrrrr...........I think the programme made the point that the eyes were looking upward......heaven-ward........above the normal mortal day-to-day human.

Or did I just imagine this?


I thought that the program was trying to say that the eyes were looking over the people. I may have been wrong. The computer simulations seemed to me to be showing the statues staring straight ahead rather than upwards.
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