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Edmundo R. Edwards, FI ‘90

Archeoastronomer Edmundo Edwards is a 45 year resident of Easter Island who has devoted his life to the scientific study, survey, and preservation of the archaeology of Polynesia. Mr. Edwards works tirelessly towards the continued discovery, analysis, documentation, restoration and understanding of South Pacific history and cultures. He has been a pioneer in disseminating these discoveries, producing a variety of regional tours, lectures, and documentaries. Additionally, he and his daughter, Alexandra Edwards, co-authored When the Universe was an Island, a thorough and comprehensive study of the history and cultures of Polynesia.

Edmundo’s passion for archaeology began with his discovery of a pre-Incan site in northern Chile at just twelve years old.  After visiting Rapa Nui in 1957, he became enthralled by the culture and returned to the island in 1960 to work with Professor William Mulloy on the restoration of Ahu Akivi.  He has lived and worked in Polynesia ever since.  In 1977, Edmundo co-founded the Centro de Estudios de Isla de Pascua where he carried out archaeological and ethnographic studies for the University of Chile.  In 1985, he began work in Tahiti’s Centre Polynésien des Sciences Humaines Te Anavaharau (CPSH) Department of Archaeology.  Returning to Rapa Nui in 1994, he began collaborative efforts in the restoration of Ahu Tongariki. 

Furthermore, Edmundo is the co-founder of both the Eastern Pacific Research Foundation (EPRF) and the Pacific Islands Research Institute (PIRI), non-profit organizations which are dedicated to multidisciplinary projects addressing education, biological, environmental, and social issues through the discovery and protection of the region’s antiquities and cultures. In addition, Edmundo is the co-owner of Archaeological Travel service (ATS), leading cultural tours to Rapa Nui and Atacama.  An active member of the Explorers Club, in 2011 Edmundo was honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for his exceptional contribution to human knowledge through his valuable research and discoveries in Polynesia.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste