Professor Terry Hunt, University of Oregon, gives the ASC Annual Lecture on Easter Island.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has become widely known as a case study of human-induced environmental catastrophe resulting in cultural collapse. In this lecture, Professor Hunt assembles the evidence for the island’s astonishing prehistoric success, and explores how and why this most isolated and remarkable culture may have avoided collapse. Based on extensive archaeological fieldwork, he also offers a compelling explanation of how the multi-ton statues were transported to every corner of the island. Perhaps Rapa Nui has a lesson for us today, but he provides compelling evidence that it is a different lesson than the one that has become so popular in recent years.