Easter Island archaeology project digs up island’s bodies
2012 05 21

From: FoxNews.com

New photographs reveal what lies beneath the surface of Easter Island, one of the most remote places in the world -- the carved bodies of the island’s 887 famous guardians.

Most people think of the 63-square-mile Pacific island’s silent stone sentinels as simple heads. But the heads all have bodies -- and a backstory that’s only now being pieced together, explained Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project.

“Those statues which are the most photographed are standing in the quarry. They’re buried up to mid-torso level. So it’s understandable that the general public didn’t have a clue that those statues had bodies,” she told FoxNews.com.



Source:Easter Island Statue Project / /Colin Montgomery



Image: Source




Image: Source



Current belief is that the statues were carved between A.D.1100 up until the 1800s, when an influx of Westerners transformed the culture. Van Tilburg, a fellow with The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has only been coming to Easter Island (called Rapa Nui) to do research for twenty years, since 1992. But she first came more than thirty years ago -- and stayed for one clear reason.


“I fell in love with the statues,” she said simply.

“I came to Easter Island in 1981. I was impressed with the number of statues and that they seemed accessible to me, they were on the surface. I wanted to know what was below the surface.”

First Van Tilburg documented the island’s statues and those that have been removed to museums; there are 887 inventoried, though she says the number is closer to 1,000. Then she began the next phase of work to reveal what lay beneath the ground -- covered up not intentionally by men, but through centuries of exposure to the environment.

That process has taken 12 years so far, and may take a lifetime of work.

“It’s the first time that one has been excavated in such a way that the documentation was complete and scientific,” she told FoxNews.com. Other groups have dug in the past, and looters have found their way to the remote island as well.

“People have been treasure hunting there for a long time.”

Van Tilburg is conducting a far more thorough examination, however, working in collaboration with a staff of three in California and ten Rapa Nui natives who are doing all of the excavation work. She is currently gearing up for the sixth scheduled dig on the island, which should run from October through November 2012.

Work so far has revealed evidence of ceremonies and very large quantities of paint; the archaeologists believe the workers painted the statues as well as their own bodies.

She found evidence of human burials nearby as well.

And recent digs have revealed just how the massive heads were carved -- some of which tower more than 30 feet in height, from base to top, and weigh more than 80 tons.

“We found over 500 stone tools. The statues were carved with different types, big heavy picks and finer basalt and obsidian tools to finish details,” she explained. Other tools were used to rub surfaces and burnish the statues. Van Tilburg found evidence of post holes as well, big enough for a tree trunk, and rope guides carved in some statues to elevate them into standing position.

But the intent of the giant sculptures, their reason for being, is still not totally clear.

“Think of China where they buried an army of standing warriors. That group was intended to be together as part of a burial feature. Here, on Easter Island, each statue is individually constructed by groups.”

A signed stone recently discovered beneath one of the heads held a petroglyph of a Polynesian style canoe, and a clue: It was meant to signify identity, Van Tilburg said.

“It was meant to identify that statue either to a family group of people or a subgroup, either carvers or the family unit the carvers came from, or beyond that, to the chief,” she told FoxNews.com. The giant sculptures were most likely relatives and not guardians, in other words.

Later sculptures were far more realistic and individualistic, she noted, which also reveals something about the changing culture, as native peoples moved from highly controlled fiefdoms to a society allowing for more individual expression.

“It’s always important to get beneath the surface of things,” she said.


Article from: foxnews.com







Video from: YouTube.com

Easter Island - The Mystery of the Moai - Ancient Civilizations

Video from: YouTube.com





Also tune into:

David Hatcher Childress - Easter Island Mystery

David Hatcher Childress - The Mystery of the Olmecs & Ancient Civilizations

Michael Cremo - Forbidden Archeology

Hugh Newman - The Olmecs & Megalithic Cultures

Robert Schoch - Hour 2 - Forgotten Civilization & Catastrophic Solar Outbursts






Related Articles
Klaus Dona : The Hidden History of the Human Race (March 2010)
Easter island heads have bodies!??
Easter Island Heads: Body excavation continues
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report
Mystery of the Easter Island Statues
The mystery of Easter Island endures amid debate


Latest News from our Front Page

Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine. Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process. Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there? I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet. This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
Texas Governor to Send National Guard Troops to Border
2014 07 22
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced plans Monday to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexican border to deal with the massive wave of illegal immigration by children. Perry had previously asked the Obama administration to provide the same number of federal troops in an ongoing debate over how to deal with the flood of new immigrants. "The price of ...
Archaeologists discover 8,000-year-old HUMAN BRAIN? Norway skull ’harbours fragments of grey matter’
2014 07 21
Archaeologists in Norway have unearthed what they believe to be a skull 8,000 years old that could contain the oldest remnants of a human brain. The discovery was made at a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo. Initial findings suggest the skull belonged to a child no older than ten years old, while an adult was also buried in a fetal-like ...
New York State Wants To Heavily Regulate Bitcoin Trading
2014 07 21
The proposal would establish a mandatory “BitLicense” for any company involved with the buying, selling, mining or trading of cryptocurrencies. In a move that has upset many in the bitcoin community, New York has become the first state to issue guidelines for the regulation of the trade and storage of bitcoins and other virtual currencies. With New York City being ...
More News »