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Abstract

It is nearly impossible to discuss cannibalism on Easter Island without first discussing cannibalism in general - largely because the subject of cannibalism is sensitive and controversial. And, especially since the publication of William Arens's book The Man-Eating Myth in 1979, a number of anthropologists and other scientists have come to question if cannibalism has occurred on the kind of scale suggested by early reports from around the world. As an extremist of sorts, Arens asserts that cannibalism as a custom has never occurred because he dismisses the veracity of all reports others have taken for granted, an assertion that almost seems to be driven more by a revulsion for the practice than for an unbiased examination of the evidence.

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