Ancient Easter Island hats rolled into place, says UO undergrad

UO undergraduate student Sean Hixon of the Robert D. Clark Honors College has drawn media attention for his April 16 talk at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archeology in San Francisco.

Hixon, an archaeology student, discussed his team's research on "The Colossal Hats (Pukao) of Monumental Statues: An Analysis of Shape Variability among the Pukao of Rapa Nui."

The team concluded that people likely rolled the hats that rest atop the island's famous structures by using a ramp, a tower and a pulley system.

The science news site Live Science covered Hixon's presentation under the headline "Giant Easter Island 'Hats' Rolled Into Place, Study Says."

The story has since rolled into the coverage of news networks and international newspapers, including NBC and the UK's Daily Mail.

Hixon's conference abstract lists his colleagues on the research as Terry Hunt, dean of the Clark Honors College, and Carl Lipo of California State University, Long Beach.