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Abstract

Given the intense archaeological study of Easter Island over the past forty years, it is surprising that very little research has been conducted on the biological aspects of the prehistoric Rapanui. The lack of research is doubly surprising since the origins of the Rapanui have been debated since the earliest archaeologists visited the island. However, thanks to the large database assembled by George W. Gill and associates at the University of Wyoming as well as recent mtDNA research conducted by Erika Hagelberg, the field of biological anthropology is beginning to take a more prominent position in Easter Island research. This paper reviews previous bioanthropological studies and explores some current research directions.

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