Easter Island Statue Project Official Website

EISP Statue Conservation Initiative and DATASHARE

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D.

Jo Anne Van Tilburg presents the Datashare project to the park directors

Dear Friends of EISP,

As 2009 draws to a close it is  a pleasure to post our second letter from the director.  As most of our visitors know, the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) is an original archaeological field survey established  in 1982 to document the monolithic statues (moai).  The objective of EISP is original scientific research and publication.  Our academic bibliography is extensive but, as the scope of our work grew, so did our collected data. In 1999, we began intensive push to digitize our records.  In 2001, our innovative, localized, and visualized topographic and archaeological map of Rano Raraku statue quarry became the organizing and presentation tool for our database. Our project has steadily expanded to include External Collections and an extensive file of ethnographica and original artwork by EISP co-Director Cristián Arévalo Pakarati and other Rapa Nui artists.  Our sister project is the non-profit Mana Gallery, which celebrated a gala, island-style opening in November.  The gallery hosts our EISP field office and exhibits and supports our associated artists.  Please visit  in person or at www.managallery.org

DATASHARE is our newest venture.  It will provide access to associated researchers, conservators and others working to preserve the fragile and irreplaceable patrimony of Rapa Nui.   DATASHARE is part of Phase 1 of the Easter Island Statue Conservation Initiative, generously funded by a grant from the Site Preservation Task Force of the Archaeological Institute of America.  According to Larry Coben, co-chair of the Task Force, EISP exemplifies “the model of preservation the AIA seeks to promote.”  Phase 1 is opening the EISP database to CONAF Oficina Isla de Pascua and our collaborators,  including Mónica Bahamondez P. of the Departamento Nacional de Conservación y Restauración (DNCR) and Christian Fischer of UCLA.  Phase 2 will incorporate the Consejo Monumentos Nacionales Isla de Pascua  and the Municipalidad Isla de Pascua.   DATASHARE will provide a permanent, accessible home for EISP data, advance the preservation of Rapa Nui patrimony, and permit informed conservation managment.

The coming year promises new and exciting adventures, and we are looking forward to the beginning in March of the first of three planned field seasons and the on-going preparation of our Rano Raraku Atlas.

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. — Archaeologist; Director, UCLA Rock Art Archive, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology; Project Director, Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative

Posted on December 8th, 2009 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. | Category: Letters from the Director |