what is the mystery of the easter island statues

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But the most mysterious feature of Easter Island is the nearly1,000 monolithic statues that dot its surface. We still don’t know how exactly the islanders moved the human-head-on-torso statues, known as “moai” in the native language. Why the early Easter islands undertook this colossal effort deep in their isolation is also a mystery.

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Why the Easter Island statues were built where they were?

Read on to find out why the statues on Easter Island were built. According to The Guardian, the statues were built on Easter Island because they’re near water. This is something that has been discovered recently.

Where are the stone statues on Easter Island?

The statues. Giant stone statues are littered throughout Rapa Nui (Easter Island), a Chilean Island located in the south Pacific Ocean. Their odd shape — large heads with disproportionately small bodies — and seemingly random placement throughout the island has always been a mystery to historians and archaeologists alike.

How many statues does Easter Island have?

The Guardian says that there are 300 statues on Easter Island (also called Rapa Nui) and this started in the 13th century. Easterisland.travel says that each statue can be as tall as 10 meters and weigh 86 tons. Since there are 1000 statues, this is quite an amazing historical feat, especially since they were carved using tools made from stones.

What are the statues on Easter Island?

The Moai statutes date back nearly a thousand years and are the work of the early inhabitants of Easter Island. They are tall sculptures made out of volcanic rock, with disproportionately large heads. The average height of a Moai is about 13 ft (4m) and can weigh around 13.8 tones (12.5 tonnes) each, but some are up to 40 ft (12m) tall.

Why are there statues on Rapa Nui?

However, a new study says the people of Rapa Nui, as the island is called in the local language, positioned them near sources of humanity’s most vital resource: fresh water.

How many AHu are there in Rapa Nui?

Researchers from six US institutions isolated an eastern area of Rapa Nui, containing 93 ahu. They analyzed the natural resources near the ahu, focusing on rock mulch gardens in which crops like sweet potatoes were grown, marine resources including sites for fishing, and sources of fresh water.

Where did the first people arrive on Rapa Nui?

Archaeologists studied the location of the statues, or moai, and the platforms on which many of them stand, known as ahu. Polynesian seafarers first arrived on Rapa Nui, 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile, approximately 900 years ago.

Can the Inland statues be connected to fresh water?

That explained the high concentration of moai and ahu along the coast, the researchers inferred. Inland statues, too, could be connected to fresh water: they were found to be situated near caves, or other fresh water sources.

Where are the Inland statues?

Inland statues, too, could be connected to fresh water: they were found to be situated near caves, or other fresh water sources.

Do ahu have a correlation with the location of the ahu?

There proved to be no significant correlation between the location of the ahu and the presence of nearby gardens, suggesting that the ahu were not situated in order to monitor or signal control over these resources.

Is there a mystery about Easter Island statues?

One mystery of Easter Island’s statues finally solved, researchers say. (CNN) — When it comes to Easter Island ’s towering stone heads, there’s now one fewer mystery to solve. Researchers have long puzzled over why the huge statues were placed where they are. However, a new study says the people of Rapa Nui, as the island is called in …

What are the relative contributions to the woes of Easter Island made by the islanders cutting down trees?

The relative contributions to the woes of Easter Island made by the islanders cutting down trees, the contribution of rats to deforestation and the ravages of disease and slavery have yet to be calculated. But, as Hunt demonstrates, the popular parable of moving the statues doesn’t explain everything.

How were moai moved?

The moai were carved in inland quarries and moved to the coast, often kilometres away. There are several proposals to explain how the moai were moved. The most popular involve wooden logs – the statues were either moved along on rolling logs or pulled on wooden sleds by ropes. Another ingenious proposal is that the statues “walked” from the quarries to their coastal destinations, being rocked from side to side by islanders pulling on ropes attached to the statues’ heads, rather like moving an upright fridge.

What factors contributed to the decline of the population of Easter Island?

Deforestation, slavery and rats were all factors in the Pacific island’s population decline. A line of moai statues at Tongariki bay on Easter Island, the world’s most remote inhabited island. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters. Most people have heard of the decimation of the population of Easter Island …

What diseases did the Europeans introduce to Easter Island?

Diseases such as TB and smallpox, introduced by Europeans and others, killed large numbers of islanders and in the 1800s Peruvian slavers kidnapped and removed 1,500 islanders, about half the population. The relative contributions to the woes of Easter Island made by the islanders cutting down trees, the contribution of rats to deforestation …

Why is the population of Easter Island declining?

The conventional explanation of population decline is that the islanders cut down all the island’s trees, precipitating an ecological reaction that killed off most of the population.

Why did rats come to Easter Island?

Rats accompanied the original settlers to Easter Island either as a source of food or as stowaways. The island is an ideal environment for rats: unlimited food, including palm tree nuts, and no natural predators except humans. Under these conditions rat populations can double every six weeks.

How long have palm trees been around Easter Island?

Palm trees. Easter Island was covered with palm trees for over 30,000 years, but is treeless today. There is good evidence that the trees largely disappeared between 1200 and 1650. Assuming that wood was used to move statues, a popular proposal was formulated that the islanders, besotted with their moai, cut down all the palm trees in order …

How did they move the statues?

Transportation of the moai statues would have been no easy feat. Some of the statues stand 33-feet-high and weigh over 80 tons. There are many theories as to how the moai were moved — some experts believe they were strapped to large logs and dragged, while others argue they were dragged on sleds over toppled trees.

Why did the Hanau Momoko fight?

In any case, a decisive battle between the groups ensued, with the hanau momoko (short ears) claiming victory, forcing the hanau eepe into one corner of the island.

Where are the giant statues on Rapa Nui?

Giant stone statues are littered throughout Rapa Nui (Easter Island), a Chilean Island located in the south Pacific Ocean. Their odd shape — large heads with disproportionately small bodies — and seemingly random placement throughout the island has always been a mystery to historians and archaeologists alike.

Why are the statues on the island facing the ocean?

Almost all the statues have their backs to the ocean, facing the inside of the island, as if to watch over and protect the settlers.

When did the Polynesian sailors arrive in Rapa Nui?

Some researchers place the date as early as 300 A.D., while more historians contend the date of arrival is closer to 800 A.D.

Do moai walk?

Archaeologists recently proved the method was possible by reenacting the process. While rocking side to side as it moves forward, the moai certainly does appear to be walking !

How does rocky soil help agriculture?

While usually rocky ground has an adverse effect on the agricultural potential of an area, in certain areas it can help by reducing soil erosion, water evaporation, and by adding vital minerals to the soil.

What happened to the statues at Ahu Tongariki?

You might think the statues here at Ahu Tongariki have stood here since they were originally erected, but they have an interesting story to tell; All of the Moai here were toppled over during the island’s civil war. And later in the twentieth century a tsunami hit the coastline and swept them inland.

Why are Moai statues called Easter Island statues?

When you first see a Moai statue you are drawn to its disproportionately large head (compared to body length) and that is why they are commonly called “Easter Island Heads”. Easter Island Statues. But once you appreciate the size and scale of these massive stone sculptures you begin to wonder;

What did the Moai statues represent?

Archaeologists suggest that the statues were a representation of the Polynesian people’s ancestors. The Moai statues face away from the sea and towards the villages, by way of watching over the people.

Why are the Moai looking out to sea?

A theory suggests these Moai looking out to sea are to help travelers find the island.

What is Rano Raraku?

Rano Raraku is known as the “nursery” of the stone head Moai statues. As you approach the site from the road you will begin to see the giant heads dotted along the hillside. Look closer and you will find examples of Moai at each stage of development; much like a manufacturing line.

How to get to Rapa Nui?

The only way to get to Rapa Nui is by plane. LATAM Airways (formerly LAN) operates flights from Santiago (Chile), and it is a 5-hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. Stepping foot on the island you will find most accommodation offerings in Hanga Roa, a short drive from the airport.

How to get around Easter Island?

The best option for getting around is to hire a car, and you can arrange this with most hotels or guesthouse owners. I strongly recommend this as opposed to a tour bus; after all, this is one of the most remote islands in the world. I find that sense of remoteness central to the Easter Island travel experience.

What do the Moai represent?

It’s thought that the Moai were symbols of religious and political power and leadership . Carvings and sculptures in the Polynesian world often have strong spiritual meanings, and followers often believe a carving had magical or spiritual powers of the person or deity depicted.

Where on Easter Island can you find the Moai?

It’s unclear exactly how many Moai exist, but there are hundreds that can be seen right across Easter Island. You don’t have to look far. The rest are thought to be buried in the slopes under rubble or at the quarry at Rano Raraku – in fact, there could be hundreds of Moai still yet to be unearthed.

What are the features of the Moai?

The faces on these Moai have distinct features, such as broad noses and strong chins jutting out from the rest of the body. The Moai have eye sockets carved, with archaeologists believing coral eyes were used. Moai at Rano Raraku | © Arian Zwegers / Flickr.

Why did the Moai statues fall?

There are different theories about this – some believe it was because of earthquake activity, others say the statues were toppled during tribal wars as a way of humiliating their opposition.

Why were trees chopped down on Easter Island?

It’s believed Easter Island was full of trees in the early days, but were chopped down to create logs in order to roll the statues around the island. Unfortunately, the deforestation of the island continued and eventually this precious natural resource was used up before any new trees could be planted.

How tall is the Moai statue?

They are tall sculptures made out of volcanic rock, with disproportionately large heads. The average height of a Moai is about 13 ft (4m) and can weigh around 13.8 tones (12.5 tonnes) each, but some are up to 40 ft (12m) tall.

How many Moai are there?

There are seven Moai which go against this and face out to sea, perhaps to guide visitors to the island.

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