JO ANNE VAN TILBURG keynote speaker at Leiden Conference

Jo Anne Van Tilburg gave the keynote lecture entitled "Here be Dragons: Archaeological Data and Rapanui Resilience" to open the Tenth International Conference on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and the Pacific: Change and Resilience, June 18–24, 2022 at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Dr. Van Tilburg is director of the Rock Art Archive and associated researcher at the Cotsen Institute.

Van Tilburg’s lecture was attended by both the current and the previous Chilean ambassadors to the Netherlands. The latter undertook a ceremonial mission to present the Rapa Nui delegation a formal letter of apology from the Dutch government acknowledging that in 1722, Dutch visitors arrived as the first Europeans on the island and, upon landing, inadvertently killed about a dozen Rapanui people who peacefully greeted them. The letter of apology was accepted by Leo Pakarati on behalf of the community.

During the following archaeological session, Van Tilburg presented a paper entitled "Human Creativity and the Quantification of Objective Evidence” followed by a well-attended public lecture on "Rapa Nui: The Culture of Craft," which summed up and closed the conference.

The conference was attended by scholars from Europe and the Americas, including a delegation from Rapa Nui, which is still closed to visitors because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Documentaries by Rapanui filmmaker Leo Pakarati and others were screened during the conference.