English lesson on easter island statues

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BBC Radio 4 - A History of the World in 100 objects – No. 70: Hoa Hakananai'a statue from Easter Island. Podcast available for download from http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ahow. These exercises are based on the first 5 minutes.

Vocabulary
Remote Double-hulled canoes
Feats Astonished
Strain To engage
To quarry Bold
Torso Overhanging
BrowCavernous
Flaring To jut
Paunch Nipples

Comprehension questions:

Easter Island is about _______________________________ of the Isle of Wight

Rapa Nui is located ____________________________ from South America

The Polynesian people also settled which two places? ________________________________

When did the first Europeans arrive? Day: ____________________ Year:________________

Europeans were (surprised / annoyed / happy / unsurprised) to find a large population already established.

What is the English translation of the statue’s name? _______________________________________

Where is the statue now? _______________________________________

It is (amazing / a regular occurance / unsurprising / unusual) that societies spend huge amounts of time andresources pleasing their gods.

The statue was made to (warn strangers away / guard the island / hold a spirit / scare evil spirits away)

How tall is the statue? _________________________

The sculpture had to be big and bold because _____________________________________.

There is (a lot more / a bit more / a similar amount / less) detail on the face than on the body.

Where did theinhabitants of Easter Island come from?

From http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/arqueologia/eastern_island/easter.htm#contents

Standard paradigm

The reigning consensus is that Easter Island was colonised around 300-400 AD as part of an eastward migration that originated in Southeast Asia around 2000 BC. The settlers are thought to have been Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands or the Mangareva(Gambier) Islands.

Traditional explanations

According to local legends, a group of long-eared people called hanau epe arrived on the island sometime after the original inhabitants, who were about 2.5 m (8 ft) tall, and had white skin and red hair. The hanau epe introduced the stone carving technology and attempted to enslave the population. After mutual suspicions erupted in a violent clash,the hanau epe were overthrown and exterminated, leaving only one survivor. However, it is unlikely that only one long-ear survived such a battle, since a period of civil war followed when all the long-eared statues were overthrown, and there were still people with elongated earlobes alive when the first Europeans arrived.

Early European visits
In April 1722 a Dutch expedition under AdmiralJacob Roggeveen became the first Europeans to set foot on Rapa Nui. They spent one day there, and reported that the natives worshipped huge statues with fires while prostrating themselves to the rising sun.
He said they were "of all shades of colour, yellow, white and brown" and that some of them distended their ear lobes so greatly with large disks that when they took them out they could "hitchthe rim of the lobe over the top of the ear". Roggeveen also noted that many of the islanders were "generally large in stature". The islanders' tallness was also witnessed by the Spanish who visited the island in 1770, measuring heights of 196 and 199 cm.
DNA sequence analysis of Easter Island's current inhabitants indicates that the 36 people living on Rapa Nui who survived the devastating wars,slave raids and epidemics of the 19th century were all Polynesian. But since the survivors were such a small group (perhaps only representing 0.25% of the peak population) it doesn’t rule out the possibility of some mixing with South Americans before the Europeans arrived.
Thor Heyerdahl
Norwegian explorer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl, who led archaeological expeditions to Easter Island in...
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