1780 Cook Benard Antique Print A Woman of the Island of Paques or Easter Island

Cartographer : Captain James Cook

Description:

This finely engraved original antique Print of a Woman from Easter Island - visited by Cook during his second voyage of discovery - was engraved by Robert Benard after Webber for the French edition of Cooks voyages published in 1777.

Early European visitors to Easter Island recorded the local oral traditions about the original settlers. In these traditions, Easter Islanders claimed that a chief Hotu Matu'a arrived on the island in one or two large canoes with his wife and extended family.  They are believed to have been Polynesian. There is considerable uncertainty about the accuracy of this legend as well as the date of settlement. Published literature suggests the island was settled around 300-400 CE, or at about the time of the arrival of the earliest settlers in Hawaii. Some scientists say that Easter Island was not inhabited until 700-800 CE. This date range is based on glottochronological calculations and on three radiocarbon dates from charcoal that appears to have been produced during forest clearance activities. Moreover, a recent study which included radiocarbon dates from what is thought to be very early material suggests that the island was settled as recently as 1200 CE. This seems to be supported by a 2006 study of the island's deforestation, which could have started around the same time. A large now extinct palm, Paschalococos disperta, related to the Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis), was one of the dominant trees as attested by fossil evidence; this species, whose sole occurrence was Easter Island, became extinct due to deforestation by the early settlers. The Austronesian Polynesians, who first settled the island, are likely to have arrived from the Marquesas Islands from the west. These settlers brought bananas, taro, sugarcane, and paper mulberry, as well as chickens and Polynesian rats. The island at one time supported a relatively advanced and complex civilization. It is suggested that the reason settlers sought an isolated island was because of high levels of Ciguatera fish poisoning in their then current surrounding area.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - 
Colors used: - 
General color appearance: - 
Paper size: - 10in x 8in (255mm x 205mm)
Plate size: - 10in x 7 1/2in (245mm x 190mm)
Margins: - 1/2in (12mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - None
Verso: - Light age toning

$110.00