New book summarizes decades of easter island research by uw scientists, others _ news _ university of wyoming

George Gill, scientific leader of the 1981 Easter Island anthropological expedition, examines human bones in the Koe Hoko burial cave in 1981. Basketball wives la season 5 episode 5 (National Geographic Society Photo)

Mention the name Easter Island, and images of giant stone statues with oversized heads may come to mind. Basketball rio 2016 tv These monumental figures account for one of the many mysteries surrounding the remote island in the Pacific Ocean and its earliest inhabitants.


A new reference book sheds light on some of the mysteries by providing evidence from human biology that modifies earlier archaeological and cultural anthropological views. Softball games “Skeletal Biology of the Ancient Rapanui (Easter Islanders)” is the culmination of nearly 40 years of research by University of Wyoming anthropologists and students, and researchers from other universities and institutions.

George Gill, a professor emeritus of anthropology at UW, and Vincent Stefan, a professor of anthropology at Herbert H. Francescas Lehman College in New York and a UW alumnus, are co-editors of the book.

“I think the release of this book is really a major step forward in solving some of the major mysteries of Easter Island,” says Gill, who wrote or co-wrote seven of the book’s 16 chapters.

Those mysteries include: Who were the inhabitants; when and how did they settle the island; what led to the decline of the advanced civilization; and how did they carve and move the statues?

Gill and a team of researchers collected and analyzed data from human skeletons that were excavated on Easter Island primarily during a 1981 anthropological expedition, in which Gill was the scientific leader. High pitch sound test The initial sample size of skeletons from that expedition was 426. Minecraft fence designs During subsequent trips to the island, the research team collected data on additional skeletons to add to its database.

Stefan, one of Gill’s former students from Rock Springs, performed extensive craniometric analyses (skull measurements) of the excavated skeletons on Easter Island. Special olympics basketball schedule Additionally, he examined Rapanui skulls housed at museums around the world as well as skeletal collections from other Polynesian islands.

Stefan’s research identifies a close relationship between the Rapanui and the populations that occupy Mangareva, the largest island of the Gambier Islands in East Polynesia, and the Tuamotus, a French Polynesian chain of almost 80 islands and atolls.

Although the early Rapanui were primarily Polynesian, a detectable “thread” of Native American ancestry exists, according to Gill’s research, which is backed by DNA evidence.

As a forensic anthropologist, Gill’s specialty is identifying race from the bones. Pitch in spanish He looked at a few traits on the face that show genetic composition well and differences among populations rather clearly.

“Some of those that were leaning away from the East Polynesian norm were pointing — every one of them — toward Native American ancestry,” Gill says. Basketball teams in new york “So, we’ve concluded the argument that’s been going on for decades over whether there was any Native American influence or not. Retaining wall design software There was, but it was small.”

Answers about when and how the ancient Rapanui settled the island have not been clearly established. Baseball america hot sheet The book explores some settlement theories, including Gill’s “sojourn” theory, in which he hypothesizes that the earliest settlement voyage to the island came from East Polynesia, but not directly. Softball express East Polynesians, who were on a colonizing voyage, arrived at South America. Free online baseball games Years later, the majority of these people set out to return to their homeland, but ended up at Easter Island.

Based on new radiocarbon dates from excavations, some researchers conclude that the island was colonized soon after A.D. Top fantasy baseball players 2016 1200. Facebook live map This finding challenges previously held views of settlement dates of A.D. Francesca eastwood 400 and A.D. Fantasy basketball mock draft 2015 1000.

Folklore emphasizes warfare and cannibalism as major factors in the civilization’s decline. Dripping springs Douglas Owsley, a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution and a former student of Gill’s from Lusk, compiled data on skeletal injuries. Basketball wives la cast 2015 The evidence shows most skeletal injuries were relatively minor, and just a small percentage were lethal. Flower bed designs The data suggest that fighting might have occurred primarily as a show of dominance, without intending to kill. Front porch ideas pinterest The samples examined do not support cannibalism, although it is possible that those bodies may have been burned.

“It leads us to believe that cannibalism wasn’t quite as rampant as some of the folklore indicates and that the ethnographers thought from the interviews,” Gill says.

The research team’s craniometric studies show no difference among the different tribes. Football field template Gill’s continuous trait observation and other researchers’ DNA work show some measurable differences that can’t be explained just by geographic distance.

“There were some separations of tribes — just not quite as great — as some of the folklore indicates that they were totally separated, warring and they wouldn’t intermarry,” Gill says.

In the book’s summary chapter, Gill and Stefan wrote: “We biologists have little to offer regarding statue production and transport, and will leave the resolution of those mysteries to the engineers and archaeologists!”

“Skeletal Biology of the Ancient Rapanui (Easter Islanders)” contains contributions from 20 scholars working in areas of study including biological anthropology, archaeology, genetics and DNA research. Basketball olympics 2016 roster Published by Cambridge University Press, the book can be purchased at www.cambridge.org.

William Mulloy, UW’s first professional anthropologist, was a member of the 1955-56 Norwegian expedition to Easter Island, led by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Fantasy football rankings by position That field experience resulted in Mulloy’s archaeological research of the island for 23 years. Landscaper salary In 1977, Mulloy and Gill, colleagues in the UW Department of Anthropology, began planning an Easter Island project that would focus on human skeleton research. El patio mexican restaurant During the planning phase, Mulloy contracted lung cancer and died in 1978.

Also, in 1978, Sergio Rapu, a native Rapanui who received a B.A. Elevator pitch for students in anthropology from UW, and his cousin, Sonia Haoa, excavated 100 skeletons from the island. Low maintenance landscaping ideas He contacted Gill for his help in analyzing the remains and joined the effort in organizing the research project.

Gill’s 37 years of Easter Island research began in 1979, when he and Rapu excavated 20 skeletons from threatened sites. Baseball field layout Two years later, Gill, Rapu and Claudio Cristino, an archaeologist with the University of Chile, led an international research expedition to excavate and analyze Easter Island skeletons.

During that expedition and, in subsequent years, 14 UW students contributed to the research efforts. Play baseball games Some former students, including Stefan and Owsley, continue the research work.

Gill has excavated and studied several hundred human skeletons from tropical west Mexico, Easter Island and the Great Plains of North America. Famous softball players He has developed collections that form parts of the national museum collections of Mexico and Chile, and collections of the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist Repository.

Gill has been active in skeletal identification for law enforcement agencies. College softball rankings He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. What is pitch perfect rated Board certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, he has served on the board of directors. Usssa softball texas He also is the former chair of the UW Department of Anthropology.

Gill has written nearly 100 journal articles and book chapters on skeletal biology and bioarchaeology. Pinch hitter His research efforts in these areas have focused largely on population variation within Homo sapiens.

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