The Intriguing Easter Island Statues

easter island statuesEaster Island is located in the southernmost point of the Polynesian triangle of islands. Also known as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is considered a special territory of Chile. This intriguing island became quite famous, despite its remoteness from most of the world, because of the gigantic and mysterious statues that can be found in several areas of the island.

The Mysterious Moai

Easter Island’s statues are called the Moai. These are monolithic human figures carved out of volcanic rock and that are found lying in many places around the island. Aside from being found in one of the world’s most remote and isolated inhabited islands, the presence of the Moai and their purpose seem to be puzzling enough for the many people who have the chance to see them on the island.

Discovery

The discovery of the island and the mysterious statues was first brought into the attention in the Western world by Dutch explorer Jakob Roggeveen who found the island on Easter Sunday of 1722 while searching for David’s Island. The 64 mile island seem to have these gigantic statues scattered all over them.

Moai Explained

Scientists have long been studying the ancient Moai and the history behind them. It can seem puzzling for a remote island, far away from modern civilization and with ancient inhabitants with limited technology still seem to create the gigantic monuments, move them and then set them standing.

This can be quite intriguing since the smallest of the Moai weighs several tons and with some of them 80 tons heavy and stand 65 feet tall.

The Moai was said to be created by ancient craftsmen that were part of an ancient craft guild of Polynesian inhabitants that lived on the island.

The Moai statues were carved out of tuff which is a a type of light volcanic stone using pickaxes made out of a tougher volcanic rock called basalt. Archaeologists believe that the statues were painstakingly moved or transported using sleds and timber rollers to their locations.

Early researchers as well as navigators have long puzzled of how the massive monuments were moved. The reason for this may be due to the fact that the island, when first visited by Western navigators was already barren and grossly deforested. It was said that the island was once lush with trees and had its own forests.

But due to the building of the statues and the extensive use of lumber to transport them, the inhabitants severely destroyed the island’s ecosystem and left it barren and deforested. This started the environmental disaster that happened and also resulted in the decimation of its ancient inhabitants.

 
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.