Easter Island (Lost Worlds and Mysterious Civilizations) by Ronald A. Reis

By Ronald A. Reis

Easter Island is a real land of puzzle. probably the most remotely inhabited locations on the earth, this 64-square-mile speck within the South Pacific is greater than 1,000 miles from wherever else, but Polynesian voyagers controlled to settle Easter Island one thousand years in the past. not anyone is familiar with why the Moai, approximately 1000 megalithic volcanic statues, have been carved, transported, and erected--or why they have been all came upon facedown via eu explorers. additionally, did a Stone Age inhabitants of below 10,000 truly deforest the land, inflicting environmental devastation? there have been as many as sixteen million Chilean arms protecting 70 percentage of the island while the settlers first seemed, yet Westerners within the early 18th century have been astonished through the complete absence of timber. in addition, the islanders followed a brand new cult in accordance with the worship of birds and within the method, each year elected a "sacred birdman" in a contest that can were the main harmful of its sort wherever on this planet. even though the island is among the such a lot studied and probed areas on the earth, Easter Island is still essentially the most mysterious locations on this planet. learn during this new identify approximately this attention-grabbing position.

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Such pukao could weigh up to 11 tons (10 metric t). The pukao are believed to represent the hairstyle of the nobility, whose long hair, dyed red, was gathered into a bun on the top of the head. The pukao was probably raised, one end at a time, on scaffold that was, step-by-step, increased in height. According to Van Tilburg, a team of about 10 men using levers and the guidance of experts would have been required. The carving, transporting, and erecting of the many moai on Easter Island between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries became central to Rapanui culture, its very reason to exist, so to speak.

With all this fighting and killing going on, Easter Island’s population decreased significantly to as few as 2,000 by some estimates. Yet, the Rapanui persisted. A new religion, manifested through an amazing and unique ritual, would emerge to give hope and meaning to a devastated, but not defeated, people. indd 50 10/13/11 11:53 AM 5 Sacred Birdmen From the time of settlement, birds were seen not only as a source of food but as sacred animals. It was obvious they could do what humans could not—fly off at any time, go anywhere.

Obsidian, a glasslike rock that is formed when lava cools rapidly, is another tool that was surely used in sculpting. After chipping the outline of the statue’s profile into the quarry wall, a niche was made around it so that sculptors from both sides could work. Hacking away in what was clearly a cramped space (often barely 2 feet), the carvers began by detailing the head of the moai and finished with the hips. indd 32 10/13/11 11:53 AM Megalithic Monuments 33 Working in the quarry located on the slope of the Rano Raraku volcano, craftsmen would begin building a new statue by carving an outline of a moai on its back.

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