Easter Island archaeology project digs up island’s bodies
2012 05 21
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
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
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
The Aeon of Horus is Ending and the Elites are Nervous as their Icons are Dying
2014 04 18
I predict there is going to be a huge resurgence of interest in European indigenous spiritual traditions from Norse to Celtic/Gaelic to Slavic and so on. Millions of Europeans are going to realise that we are the victims of Christianity and New Age garbage. Their bastardised Kabbalah, the psychic force used by Crowley and the elites to cement his Aeon ...
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
2014 04 18
Contrary to popular belief, Easter does not represent the "historical" crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In reality, the gospel tale reflects the annual "crossification" of the sun through the vernal equinox (Spring), at which time the sun is "resurrected," as the day begins to become longer than the night.
Rather than being a "Christian" holiday, Easter celebrations date back ...
Man-Made Blood Might Be Used in Transfusions by 2016
2014 04 18
Researchers in the U.K. have created the first man-made red blood cells of high enough quality to be introduced into the human body
The premise of the HBO show and book series True Blood revolves around a technological breakthrough: scientists figure out how to synthesize artificial human blood, which, as an ample new source of non-human food, allows vampires to "come ...
The Trials of the Cherokee Were Reflected In Their Skulls
2014 04 18
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee have found that environmental stressors – from the Trail of Tears to the Civil War – led to significant changes in the shape of skulls in the eastern and western bands of the Cherokee people.
The findings highlight the role of environmental factors in shaping our physical characteristics.
Our Fears May Be Shaped by Ancestral Trauma
2014 04 18
Last December, an unsettling Nature Neuroscience study found that mice who were taught to associate the smell of cherry blossoms with pain produced offspring who feared the smell of cherry blossoms, even if they had never been exposed to it before. We knew that the process was epigenetic—that it was not hard-wired in the permanent genetic structure of the mouse—but ...
|More News » |