How did they build the heads on Easter Island?
Using basalt stone picks, the Easter Island Moai were carved from the solidified volcanic ash of Rano Raraku volcano. They are all monolithic the carvings are created in one piece and an average weight of 20 tons and measuring 20 feet tall or more. One unfinished statue is 69 feet tall, estimated to weigh 270 tons.
Where did Easter Island heads come from?
The Easter Island heads are known as Moai by the Rapa Nui people who carved the figures in the tropical South Pacific directly west of Chile. The Moai monoliths, carved from stone found on the island, are between 1,100 and 1,500 CE.
How were the moai carved?
The moai were individually carved out of single bays of the rock rather than a big open area like a modern quarry. It appears that most were carved lying on their backs. After the carving was completed, the moai were detached from the rock, moved down-slope, and erected vertically, when their backs were dressed.
Are the Easter Island statues full bodies?
Though moʻai are whole-body statues, they are often referred to as “Easter Island heads” in some popular literature. All but 53 of the more than 900 moʻai known to date were carved from tuff (a compressed volcanic ash) from Rano Raraku, where 394 moʻai in varying states of completion are still visible today.
What is so special about 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.
Why were so many moai destroyed?
One theory posits that the early Polynesians who settled on the island, also known as Rapa Nui, cut down trees for logs to roll the statues from their quarries to their overlook positions. Competition among clans led to ever bigger moai and, ultimately, to the destruction of the forest.
Why does Easter Island have no trees?
When it rains on the island, also known as Rapa Nui, the water rapidly drains through the porous volcanic soil, leaving the grass dry again. That’s one reason why the island at the end of the world has stayed almost entirely bare, with no trees or shrubs.
Why does Easter Island exist?
An isolated triangle measuring 14 miles long by seven miles wide, Easter Island was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions. In addition to its hilly terrain, the island contains many subterranean caves with corridors that extend deep into mountains of volcanic rock.
How did the Rapa Nui die?
By eating the nuts, the sizeable rat population could have prevented reseeding of the bountiful but slow-growing palms across the island, causing them to die out. But the most likely cause of the downfall of Rapanui society is disease brought about by slavery.