Researchers have been spending centuries discovering the mystical origins and purposes of the 887 heads of stones in the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) area. An anthropological research group from the USA thought they had found archeological proof to solve the puzzle using the methods of photogeometry and 3D imagery. However, how exactly did the island inhabitants of the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries raise the huge rocks to a height of 33 ft to match the cairns?
Recent proofs suggest that the pukaos were coiled up with specially designed platforms mounted on the heads and manually cut into certain forms. "The best way to explain the transportation of doll shelters from the quarries is by moving the rough materials to the mai. At the top, the chiseled caps were tilted and chiseled into their definitive shape.
It was found that no more than 15 people would have been needed to pull the biggest huts up the docks. "This is the first occasion that someone has researched the systematic proof of how the huge caps were placed on the heads of the huge Easter Island sculptures.
Previously, Professor Lipo and Professor Terry Hunt, University of Arizona, were in charge of finding out how the solid rocks were moving across Easter Island. Results of their new survey were recently featured in the latest edition of the scientific magazine JAW.
Easter Island heads have landslide covers.
On the southeastern shore of Rape Nui there are thirteen feet of statue depicting the ghosts of the Rapanui, the aborigines of Easter Isle. Rafa Nui, the most secluded populated of the world's islands, is about 1,289 leagues from the Pitcairn archipelago in the southeastern Pacific.
Most of the Polynesians live on the isle. Situated in the south-east of the Pacific, it is renowned for its approximately 1,000 woodcarvings of sculptures of moai faces. Though their meaning is still somewhat mysterious, the mai are considered as depictions of the forefathers of the native nations. Tribesmen would probably have sculpted a new sculpture every important tribe member who died.
Moai, as they were called by the islanders, were made of vulcanic-stone. About a year it took a group of five to six carvers to finish each of them. The majority of them stay in the quarries where they originated, but many have been built along the coastline, and some can be found in the inland.
These 18-ton sculptures seem to have been carried by the locals to various parts of the isle. Easter Islands heads are often pictured and have been examined over the years since the Europeans first spotted them in 1722. One of the first digs in 1914 revealed that the heads of the sculptures were fixed to subterranean torsos due to the islands inherent degradation - over the course of the ages they had been hit by mudflows.
The information was not widely available, which prompted the general opinion that the heads and collars that had been uncovered formed the whole sculpture. Those sculptures also bury torso under the heads. The archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg, research assistant at UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and head of the Rock Art Archive, has been giving lectures and contributing on the sculptures for many years.
The Easter Isle sculpture project was launched in 1998 by Van Tilburg and the island's inhabitants to localise and record each sculpture with the most up-to-date facilities. "In the course of the years, it seems that more of these boats were engraved on the sculpture in a continuous repeat of their identities to confirm who they were," she said.
Since the fellowship became less and less identical over the years, they might want to label these sculptures as their own," she suspected. The way the island inhabitants were moving the huge mai is still a puzzle. A number of scholars believe that the sculptures were "walked" to their goal, as the story goes. Cables could be attached to the piece, and each edge was moving one after the other.
Since the heads of the mai found in the pit are inclined downwards and the heads of the pieces are not, this could have been a part of the centre of the rock. A few sculptures were found breaking during transportation on a gradient along the street on the back.
An other possible technique was a manga eroa miro, a Y-shaped sledge on which the sculpture was placed face down and bound with cables around the throat, near the center and below. It is the largest found sculpture from the central era, measuring about 32 ft and consisting of a simple piece with a weight of about 82t.