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Abstract

The Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island and the East Pacific was an important milestone in Rapa Nui research. The expedition team directed by Thor Heyerdahl arrived to the island on 27th of October 1955 onboard the ship Christian Bjelland, and included William Mulloy, Arne Skjolsvold, Carlyle Smith, Edwin Ferdon and Gonzalo Figueroa. The expedition carried out large-scale excavations at Vinapu, 'Orongo, Rano Raraku, 'Anakena, Tepeu, Poike "ditch", and also investigated house foundations, walled enclosures, hare moa and caves around the island. After more than five months of intensive work, the expedition left Rapa Nui on 6th of April 1956, heading to other Polynesian islands to gather the data for comparative studies. Expedition reports were published in two large volumes, the first of which is completely dedicated to Easter Island (Heyerdahl and Ferdon 1961).

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