Easter Island’s ’Walking’ Stone Heads Stir Debate
2013-06-10 0:00

By Tia Ghose | LiveScience



An idea suggesting massive stone statues that encircle Easter Island may have been "walked" into place has run into controversy.

In October 2012, researchers came up with the "walking" theory by creating a 5-ton replica of one of the statues (or "moai"), and actually moving it in an upright position, and have published a more thorough justification in the June issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. If the statues were walked into place, then the islanders didn’t need to cut down the island’s palm trees to make way for moving the massive carvings, the researchers argue.

The findings may help dismantle the traditional storyline of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui: that a "crazed maniacal group destroyed their environment," by cutting down trees to transport gigantic statues, said study co-author Carl Lipo, an anthropologist at California State University, Long Beach.

But not everyone in the field is convinced. While some experts find the demonstration persuasive, others think it’s unlikely the large statues could have been walked upright on the island’s hilly, rough terrain.

Ancient enigma

Rapa Nui’s majestic rock statues (also known as Stone Heads of Easter Island) have been a mystery since Europeans first arrived in the 1700s on the island, located in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Chile. Though the island was filled with a giant palm forest when Polynesians first arrived in the 13th century, the first European explorers found massive megaliths on a deforested, rock-strewn island with just 3,000 people.

In the past, archaeologists proposed that a lost civilization chopped down all the trees to make paths to roll the megalithic structures horizontally for miles on top of palm trees used as "rolling logs" of sorts, from the quarries where they were created to ceremonial platforms. That transport method would have required many people, and led to deforestation and environmental ruin that would’ve caused the population to plummet.

Walking statues

But Lipo and his colleagues wondered whether that made sense. For one, other archaeological evidence in villages suggested the island’s population was never that large, and the palm trees, essentially hardwood with a soft, foamy material inside, would be crushed by the rolling statues, Lipo said.

Along the road to the platforms are moai whose bases curved so they couldn’t stand upright, but instead would topple forward, meaning the ones in transit would have to be modified once they reached the platform. That made the researchers wonder why the statues weren’t made to stand upright in the first place if they were meant to be rolled into place, not walked, Lipo said

And the statues found on the roads to the platforms all had wider bases than shoulders, which physical models suggested would help them rock forward in an upright position.

[...]

Read the full article at: livescience.com

READ: How Easter Island’s statues walked



Related Articles
New and Surprising Discoveries about Mysterious Easter Island Statue: Origin of the Birdman Cult
Easter Island archaeology project digs up island’s bodies
Easter Island Heads: Body excavation continues
The mystery of Easter Island endures amid debate


Latest News from our Front Page

Increased tax subsidies for politically correct media
2015-03-29 22:08
On Dec 9 last year I translated a random snapshot of the biggest newspaper in Sweden. The headlines alone spoke for themselves. It was, simply put, an orgy of political correctness, obvious attempts at emotional manipulation and general national self-loathing. In other words, a typical Swedish newspaper on any given day. As more and more readers are waking up to the ...
When obeying the law and supporting yourself is racist
2015-03-29 22:56
There is a huge scandal in the municipality of Älmhult in Sweden. It has been revealed that there is a letter that may have been sent from the municipality offices to newly arrived immigrants informing them that the law applies to them and that they’re expected to eventually go off the dole and start pulling their own weight in society. In ...
New political weapon: Threat to unleash immigrant invasion
2015-03-29 22:05
Youtube description: Threatening to bombard a country with illegal immigrants has become quite the bargaining chip in political quarrels, as Polly Boiko explains. Source: youtube.com/RT Editors Note: Notice how the argument is twisted around at the end of the report. The word "Bogeyman" is used. This is a common allusion to a mythical creature. What is mythical about replacement immigration into Europe? ...
Facebook completes first drone flight above UK, Mark Zuckerberg confirms
2015-03-28 3:15
Solar powered drones which provide internet access to rural and remote areas have been trialled in UK for first time by Facebook. They “have a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 but will weigh less than a car”, according to the social network's chief Mark Zuckerberg. The drones, developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta which Facebook bought last March, will beam down laser-guided ...
300 Young English Girls (and a few Boys) Groomed and Assaulted by Oxfordshire "Gangs," Report Finds
2015-03-28 2:04
Editor's note: This story is a few days old now but the echoes of Rotherham just keeps coming. A few weeks ago there was Halifax, now Britain proudly can add Oxfordshire to their line up of diversity success stories. Below is the story from the telegraph: Serious case review finds failings by police and social services as it identifies hundreds of victims A ...
More News »