The sophisticated culture that produced the richest rock art in the Pacific
Easter Island is the most isolated piece of permanently inhabited land on the planet, yet it produced a most extraordinary Stone Age culture: hundreds of sophisticated coastal stone platforms, over a thousand enormous stone statues, the richest rock art in the Pacific, and a unique writing system.
This talk covers the discovery of this culture, its principal features, and what archaeology, oral traditions and, more recently, palaeobotanical evidence have combined to teach us about the island’s cultural rise and decline, its environmental crisis, and the lessons all this can teach us about how we look after the earth as a whole.
Paul Bahn, who is giving the talk, studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and completed his PhD thesis (1979) on the prehistory of the French Pyrenees. He has held post-doctoral fellowships, at Liverpool and London, plus a J. Paul Getty postdoctoral fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities.
Paul devotes time to writing, editing and translating books on archaeology, plus occasional journalism and as much travel as possible. His main research interest is prehistoric art, especially rock art of the world, and most notably Palaeolithic art, as well as Easter Island. He led the team which, at his instigation, searched for and discovered the first Ice Age cave art in Britain (at Creswell Crags) in 2003.
For more information, visit theartssocietychiswick.org.uk
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