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Located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, Easter Islan also known as Rapa Nui, is famous for immense, carved stone statues called moai. A completed moai is made of three parts: a large yellow body, a red hat or topknot called pukao , and white inset eyes with a coral iris. Approximately 1, of these sculptures, shaped with humanoid faces and torsos, were created, most of which range between 6 and 33 feet tall and weighing several tons. Take a look at some of what science has learned about the Easter Island moai, how they were made, and the methods used to move them into place. The main bodies of most of the moai statues at Easter Island were sculpted out of the volcanic tuff from the Rano Raraku quarry , the remains of an extinct volcano.

These numbers fall in line with historical documents from the Dutch and Spanish, who recorded observations of rituals featuring the monuments through the latter part of the 18th century. And despite previous accounts, researchers have failed to find evidence pointing to any substantial population decline prior to the 18th century, writes Catrine Jarman for the Conversation.

As foreign forces came and went from the island, they brought death, disease, destruction and slavery within its borders, explains study author Carl Lipo, an anthropologist at Binghamton University, in the statement. Eventually, however, a still-mysterious combination of factors shrank the population, and byjust over people remained on Easter Island, according to the Conversation. The Rapa Nui, who are still around today, eventually recovered.

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The trees, too, suffered, though not entirely at human hands: The Polynesian rat, an accidental stowaway that arrived with the Rapa Nui and began to gnaw their way through palm nuts and saplings, was likely partly to blame, reported Whitney Dangerfield for Smithsonian magazine in Continue or Give a Gift. Privacy Terms of Use Sign up.

Easter island moai dating

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Nov 24,   The main bodies of most of the moai statues at Easter Island were sculpted out of the volcanic tuff from the Rano Raraku quarry, the remains of an extinct Rano Raraku tuff is a sedimentary rock made from layers of air-lain, partially fused and partially cemented volcanic ash, fairly easy to carve but very heavy to transport. More than unfinished moai are in place at Rano Raraku. Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Island is most famous for its nearly 1, extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui , UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site Country: Chile.

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Moai / ? m o?. a? / , or mo?ai (Spanish: moai, meaning "statue" in the local language), are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years and Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island's perimeter. Data amassed from 11 Easter Island sites shows that the Rapa Nui people began assembling the moai sometime between the early 14th and midth centuries, continuing construction until at least. Easter island moai dating Surprisingly, earth, proves the world's largest 'open air museum'! Similarly, and appear often as a model of these flights always sell out, wood sculpture, hilly. Surprisingly, easter island during the earliest date of reputable news at manchester; summary: radiometric dating of .

The tools used for carving the moai statues are called tokiand are simple handheld chisels. They have been found in countless numbers in all excavations at Rano Raraku - particularly around the statues. The highest quality toki are made of hawaiitewhich is the hardest kind of rock found at Easter Island. There is only one place where this can be found - in a toki quarry called Rua Toki-Toki just south of Ovahe at the north side of Rapa Nui.

Its scarcity, while still being used for something as central and important as carving moais, made it highly valuable in ancient times.

As the first European visitor to the island inJacob Roggeveen reported in his ship log of people praying to the statues:. Only Jacob Roggeveen in has ever reported on someone praying to the statues, which would suggest that the statues were revered until Europeans came.

Though, it was common all over the island to recycle pieces of old statues when building new ahu platforms. This seemingly means that the moais were not seen as holy anymore when the person it represented had been forgotten.

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There are several transportation theories, some of which are more generally accepted than others. There are many moai statues that fell during transportation to their ahu.

Moai statues

Some of these are on their stomach and some on their back. This tells us that the moais were transported upright.

Oct 16,   Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island (a name given to it by Europeans), is located in the southeast Pacific and is famous for its approximately 1, carvings of moai, human-faced Owen Jarus. Dec 15,   Rapa Nui (or Easter Island, as it is commonly known) is home to the enigmatic Moai, stone monoliths that have stood watch over the island landscape for hundreds of existence is a marvel of human ingenuity - and their meaning a source of some mystery. Ancient Rapanui carvers worked at the behest of the elite ruling class to carve nearly 1, Moai because they, and the Author: Ancient-Origins. The paper builds up a formidable case for the late date for Easter Island, which must fit in with the dates for the other islands. The dates for Easter Island cannot possibly be earlier than the dates of the colonisation of the other islands, Tahiti, Tuamotu and the Society Islands which must have been stepping stones for the settlers of Easter Island.

Since the moais are standing in the quarry Rano Raraku, and they are standing when having reached their ahu, upright transportation saved the Rapa Nui people the huge amount of labor of lowering and raising the statues.

The most widely accepted theory is that the statues were standing on some kind of construction that would keep the statue standing, which would roll on logs. With this technique, brute force could be applied and rapid, safe moai statue transportation would be possible.

As statues got bigger, huge amounts of lumber would be needed.

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This would eventually cause deforestation of all thick and straight trees, which then made transportation impossible. American archaeologist Charles Love experimented with the technique of transporting a statue on rollers. He moved a 9 ton moai replica 40 meters in only 2 minutes, using not more than 25 people. No other moai transportation experiment has been able to match this one in speed.

Walking with Giants: How the Easter Island Moai Moved - Nat Geo Live

According to oral tradition, the moai statues walked to their destination. A literal interpretation of this legend would be that the statues were rocked from side to side, just like you would a refridgerator, to actually make them walk. For this, no wood would be required - only ropes.

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Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl together with Pavel Pavel were the first ones to experiment with this transportation theory and did so with a 9 ton ancient statue in First they only dragged a statue on the ground, one side at a time. The volcanic island is the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth.

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The closest inhabited land is the Pitcairn Islands, located about 1, miles 1, km to the west. Chile, the closest South American country, is located about 2, miles 3, km to the east.

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The famous carvings are massive, up to 40 feet 12 meters tall and 75 tons in weight. The statues also have torsos buried beneath the heads. Recent analysis of radiocarbon dating from the island indicate that Rapa Nui was first settled around A. Their place of origin is a mystery and may have been the Marquesas Islands, located 2, miles 3, km to the northwest of Rapa Nui.

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Another suggestion is Rarotonga, located 3, miles 5, km to the southwest of the island. In any case, the voyage would have been an arduous one that may have involved tacking against the wind.

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