Brian Cox, master of the universe

Well, at least of the wonders of the universe aphorism. In that regard he’s truly up there with Carl Sagan. And having criticised him for an archaeological presentation, I was delighted to see him at his best on Easter Island. I wrote earlier about a sequence in the first of the BBC’s Human Universe films. … Continue reading Brian Cox, master of the universe

Easter Island – alive and well in Soho?

The April 1986 edition of World of Interiors has a feature headlined “Soho strip”. It’s written by Doris Saatchi, as Doris Lockhart then was, a New York-born writer and art connoisseur married to advertiser Charles Saatchi. There is a great portrait of her by Robert Mapplethorpe, though somewhat undermined for me by Red Dwarf – … Continue reading Easter Island – alive and well in Soho?

En route for Easter Island

A century ago today, the Mana, an auxiliary schooner captained by Scoresby Routledge, stewarded by his wife Katherine and crewed by a collection of English seamen, fishermen, scientists and the odd Royal Navy lieutenant, had just been hauled up onto a floating deck in Talcahuano on the Chilean coast. They were nearly a year into … Continue reading En route for Easter Island

More Easter Island photos

Searching through my Kodachromes for pictures to illustrate the British Archaeology feature I wrote about earlier today, took me back nearly 20 years – I was on Rapa Nui in 1994. Here are some that didn’t make it into the magazine. There were then, it seemed, few tourists on the island, but there was more … Continue reading More Easter Island photos

Hoa Hakananai’a in British Archaeology

The new British Archaeology contains the first printed report on our study of the great Easter Island statue in the British Museum. The feature makes a great spread, and the results are really interesting. I wrote about our work in the BM at the time here and here. Now the analyses are well advanced. In … Continue reading Hoa Hakananai’a in British Archaeology

Singing statues

If you ever wondered how the statues on Easter Island were moved from the quarry, or especially if the thought never entered your head, you really must watch this video on the Nature website – and stick with it to the end. Whether it’s what actually happened is anybody’s guess – as it is with … Continue reading Singing statues

Night at the Museum 2

A chance to give Hoa a quick dust Last night we finished the job of recording the British Museum's large Easter Island statue (see here for the first post). As with photogrammetry, the really clever stuff with PTM lies mostly in the software and not the kit. The two most important things here were a … Continue reading Night at the Museum 2

Last night in the Wellcome Gallery

I spent last night all but alone with the British Museum's Easter Island statue, Hoa Hakananai’a. Graeme Earl, James Miles, Hembo Pagi and I began a project to record and analyse the carving in unprecedented detail. It is one of the British Museum’s most popular objects, but well known as it is, it has been … Continue reading Last night in the Wellcome Gallery