Easter Island Today

Easter Island Today

The moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are large stone sculptures, heads and torsos carved of hardened volcanic ash. The average size of the stone figures is 13 feet tall and 14 tons, but some are even bigger, up to 72 feet tall, 150 tons. There are 887 moai on the island, 288 of them standing on their stone foundations at locations around Rapa Nui. They were carved and sited between 1250 and 1500 when there were no draft animals or wheels on the island. So how did they get to their locations? Some island residents say they walked, and some scholars think they’re right, in a way.

The statues didn’t walk themselves, say archeologists Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo, and Sergio Rapu; they were “walked” by teams of men using ropes to move them in a rocking motion, moving them to locations up to 11 miles from the stone quarry.

More:

“Easter Island Mystery Solved? New Theory Says Giant Statues Rocked,” National Geographic News

“How Easter Island’s Statues Walked,” Alan Boyle, MSNBC.com

Rapa Nui National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Center website

Easter Island Statue Project website

Easter Island, Chile Cultural Society website

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Image (“Decline and Fall”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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