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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Rull, Valentí 2016. Natural and anthropogenic drivers of cultural change on Easter Island: Review and new insights. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 150, p. 31.

    Rull, Valentí Cañellas-Boltà, Núria Margalef, Olga Pla-Rabes, Sergi Sáez, Alberto and Giralt, Santiago 2016. Three Millennia of Climatic, Ecological, and Cultural Change on Easter Island: An Integrative Overview. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 4,


Weapons of war? Rapa Nui mata'a morphometric analyses

  • Carl P. Lipo (a1), Terry L. Hunt (a2), Rene Horneman (a1) and Vincent Bonhomme (a3) (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 17 February 2016

Traditional explanations of Rapa Nui history invoke environmental degradation and warfare to explain the ‘collapse’ of the island's social and economic structure. One element in these reconstructions are the stemmed obsidian points known as mata'a, which some have envisaged as spearheads produced in the context of endemic warfare. Morphometric analysis shows, however, that mata'a were not specifically designed for interpersonal violence but were general purpose tools that may have been used for peaceful tasks such as ritual scarification. This discovery provides further evidence against the theory of the violent collapse of Rapa Nui society.

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C.P. Lipo , T.L. Hunt & B. Hundtoft. 2010. Stylistic variability of stemmed obsidian tools (mata'a), frequency seriation, and the scale of social interaction on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 2551–61.

C.P. Lipo , T.L. Hunt & S.R. Haoa. 2013. The ‘walking’ megalithic statues (moai) of Easter Island. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 2859–66.

M.A. Mulrooney , A. McAlister, C.M. Stevenson, A.E. Morrison & L. Gendreau. 2014. Sourcing Rapa Nui mata'a from the collections of Bishop Museum using non-destructive pXRF. Journal of the Polynesian Society 123: 301–38.

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