created 11 months ago | Tagged:
The Easter Island Statue Project has been carefully excavating two of 1,000-plus statues on the islands - doing their best to uncover the secrets of the mysterious stones, and the people who built them.
Project director Jo Anne Van Tilburg said: 'Our EISP excavations recently exposed the torsos of two 7m tall statues. 'Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of visitors to the island have been astonished to see that, indeed, Easter Island statues have bodies! 'More important, however, we discovered a great deal about the Rapa Nui techniques of ancient engineering.' Among their discoveries, the team have discovered:
The dirt and detritus partially burying the statues was washed down from above and not deliberately placed there to bury, protect, or support the statues The statues were erected in place and stand on stone pavements Post holes were cut into bedrock to support upright tree trunks Rope guides were cut into bedrock around the post holes Posts, ropes, stones, and different types of stone tools were all used to carve and raise the statues upright
The team working on the dig as they unveil the secrets of the heads - excavations recently exposed the torsos of two 7m tall statues
The team also discovered that ceremonies were certainly associated with the statues. On the project website, Van Tilburg said: 'We found large quantities of red pigment, some of which may have been used to paint the statues. 'Finally, and perhaps most poignantly, we found in the pavement under one statue a single stone carved with a crescent symbol said to represent a canoe, or vaka. 'The backs of both statues are covered with petroglyphs, many of which are also vaka. A direct connection between the vaka symbol and the identity of the artist or group owning the statue is strongly suggested.'