Monday, June 6, 2011

[pima.nius] Early Americans helped colonise Easter Island

4:42 PM |

South Americans helped colonise Easter Island centuries before
Europeans reached it. Clear genetic evidence has, for the first time,
given support to elements of this controversial theory showing that
while the remote island was mostly colonised from the west, there was
also some influx of people from the Americas.

But the Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl thought otherwise. In the
mid-20th century, he claimed that the famous Easter Island statues
were similar to those at Tiahuanaco at Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, so
people from South America must have travelled west across the Pacific
to Polynesia.

Now Erik Thorsby of the University of Oslo in Norway has found clear
evidence to support elements of Heyerdahl's hypothesis. In 1971 and
2008 he collected blood samples from Easter Islanders whose ancestors
had not interbred with Europeans and other visitors to the island.

pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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