Easter Island and Polynesia
Links With South America.
articles by Yuri Kuchinsky posted and discussed in sci.archaeology newsgroup
Most of us have heard about the Easter Island. It is the island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
that is located about half-way between South America and Polynesia, and that features those
striking and unusual "Heads". (Well, actually most of them are not really "Heads", but full-bodied statues that were partially buried in the earth.)
I'm adding in Dec '98 a long article where I analyse the latest debates among Polynesianists about all these subjects. This article is about all the current Polynesian controversies.
Some important changes needed to be made on this page in Aug '98 because of the latest discussions and additional information that came to light. The old focus was too narrow. Previously, I was trying to show that EI had strong links with South America. Of course, still, these links are not in doubt. Not at all. But my previous focus on trying to show that EI was culturally very different from other islands in Polynesia was not really justified. I've received some criticism from competent scholars about this, and hence the changes.
So, in fact, my thesis will be broader now. Not only strong South American influence was felt in ancient times on EI, but it was also felt in many other places in Polynesia! Newer files explain all this. Some of the older files still need some changes to reflect the new focus. Some problems were found with some of the things Heyerdahl said as quoted in these older files. But this certainly doesn't mean Heyerdahl was wrong overall. Quite to the contrary.
In this section, you will find botanical information about NATIVE AMERICAN PLANTS that were brought in ancient times from America to various places around the Pacific. For some mysterious reason, almost all of this information still remains a Deep Dark Secret for professional Polynesianists (and Americanists), although it's been widely published by Heyerdahl for many decades already.
Here are the long lists of these plants . 36 items altogether, believe it or not!
Here this important botanical information is analysed in more detail. I include in this long file the older version of these lists, as well as the updated information. Also critiques by Ross Clark are included. All this indicats that South American influence reached out to Easter Island and also to the rest of Polynesia.
This adds to the previous post. Pineapple and papaya.
The following botanical information mostly relates specifically to Easter Island.
These files were added in Aug '98.
The older files follow. Some information in them can now be considered somewhat problematic.
- In this article, I respond to criticism from Greg. He complained that Heyerdahl seemed to ignore megalithic masonry elsewhere in Polynesia. Greg's criticism was partly justified, but it certainly cannot invalidate Heyerdahl's larger thesis.
- Since my critics found more connections between EI and the rest of Polynesia than it was previously thought existed, Heyerdahl's thesis seemed to be in trouble. Here I explain why this is not really so, and what Heyerdahl's larger thesis actually is.
- Here I point to some real problems in the mainstream view of Polynesian prehistory. Surprisingly enough, there are too many troubling uncertainties in this area. Dumbing down Polynesian history.
- More information to add to the previous post.
- This file adds up to the general picture of the Polynesian history. This is an alternative view that the mainstream scholars don't want to hear. What emerges here is that there was an early phase of Polynesian history associated with ocean-raft navigation and megalithic construction. These raft-navigators were coming from South America.
- This and the following two articles contain my review of what a leading mainstream scholar Paul Bahn has been saying about EI and Heyerdahl. There are many serious problems with his analyses.
- Part two, dealing with botanical evidence.
- Part three, dealing with how ancient mausoleums on EI became "chicken houses" through efforts of incompetent mainstream scholars.
- This article provides an update about the voyage of Inca Tupac to Polynesia. This subject has been covered previously in other files on this webpage.
Easter Island provides perhaps the clearest evidence that ancient Americans were very competent
sailors and shipbuilders. And Thor Heyerdahl has created this area of research almost
- Here's a very useful file about the history of
Easter Island based on the latest reseach of Thor Heyerdahl. (THIS
TEXT FILE has been on my webpage for some time now. But now, in May, '98, I've added the
images. These images should remove all doubts for anyone who still has them. Here's the
link to the images.
- This is a file about how the Spanish almost "discovered" Easter Island
based on the directions received from the Incas. Posted by Larry Elmore.
- More information about ancient contacts between Easter Island and
America. In particular, what about some of S. American plants that were found on the Easter
Island, such as manioc?
- Who were the Native Easter Islanders? Some of them are still around... Here's the information
about the blood tests that were done and compared with some South
- In this somewhat ironic post by Hans Kristian Ruud from Norway
you will find information about the Galapagos Islands archaeological excavations and what
they can tell us about the ancient Amerindian navigators.
- In this brief coversation with Jacques Guy, we discuss how strangely uninformed this mainstream publication by Jo Ann van Tilburg is...
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