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Seeking Solutions: An Archaeological Approach to Conservation of a Threatened Heritage on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Archaeology book series (BRIEFSARCHAE)

Abstract

The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP), of which Van Tilburg and Arévalo Pakarati are codirectors, is a holistic archaeological program encompassing a range of resources to clarify the social role of more than 1000 documented monolithic sculptural objects (statues, moai). This chapter describes the conservation investigations undertaken within a pilot project known as the EISP Conservation Initiative, which was conducted for 7 weeks and over four field seasons from 2010 to 2012 (Fischer and Bahamondez Prieto, Conservation investigations: Preliminary report, Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) Conservation Initiative, Archaeological Institute of America Site Preservation Committee, EISP Archives, 2014). The Archaeological Institute of America Site Preservation Committee supported the conservation initiative and excavation. The challenges addressed during phase 1 of the conservation initiative are summarized, and its redirection during phase 2 is described. Partnership formation between EISP and the Rapa Nui community to enable informed consideration of site preservation is addressed. Issues of ethics and values clarification, intellectual property rights in the digital age, entrepreneurial interests, and economic sustainability in the modern era are explored.

Keywords

Rapa Nui Moai Conservation Sustainability Community involvement 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cotsen Institute of ArchaeologyUCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Centro Nacional de Conservacion y RestauracionClaustro de la Recoleta DominicaSantiago de ChileChile
  3. 3.Santa MonicaUSA

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