UC Santa Cruz research appears to rule out pre-European contact with South Americans
Easter Island is a place of mystery that has captured the public imagination. Famous for ancient carved statues and a location so remote it boggles the mind, the island presents a captivating puzzle for researchers eager to understand how and when it became inhabited, and by whom.
New paleogenomic research conducted by an international team led by UC Santa Cruz sheds light on those questions by ruling out the likelihood that inhabitants of Easter Island intermixed with South Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans on the island in 1722.
Lars Fehren-Schmitz, associate professor of anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, presents his findings in a new paper published in the Oct. 12 edition of Current Biology.