Easter Island Quarry for the MoaiThe Easter Island quarry for the Moai
The Rano Raraku is a volcano craters, which consists of concentrated volcano fly ash or tufa and is situated on the lower hillsides of Terevaka in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island in Chile. The sculpture was made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and provided the rock from which about 95% of the island's famous moai (monolithic sculptures) were made.
The Rano Raraku is a graphical recording of Moai designer terminology and technical innovations, where 397 Moai are located. Situated on the World Heritage Site of Rapa Nui National Parks, Rano Raraku gives its name to one of the seven parts of the area. Sides of Rano Raraku craters are high and precipitous, except in the northern and northwestern parts, where they are much deeper and slightly slanted.
In the interior there is one of the three fresh water craters of the island, which is surrounded by Nga'atu or reed. Once considered proof of contacts with the continent, these crops have been grown on the island for at least 30,000 years and have been used by the Rapa Nui for reed-covered shelters and flotation devices.
Imperfect stone quarry sculptures are noteworthy, both for their number, the impossibility of some that were high on the outer face of the craters, and for the dimensions of the biggest mai, at 21.6mt. (71 feet), almost twice as high as any 270 tonne mai ever built and inaccessible.
Several of the imperfect moai seem to have been left after the carvings came across pockets of very solid rocks in the masonry. Other can be statues that were never meant to be seperated from the rocks in which they were sheared. At the outside of the quarry there are some moai, some of which are partly burried up to the shoulder in the overburden of the quarry.
Their distinguishing feature is that their sight has not been eroded, they have no pukkao and they have not been blown down in the island's catfight. This is why they provided some of the most popular pictures of the island. The Tukuturi is an uncommon moai. His moustache and knee position differentiate him from the mai.
Isle in the center of the world: A new light on Easter Island. Archaeology, ecology and culture, p. 146. "Temporary account of recent geological surveys on Easter Island." Isle in the center of the world: A new light on Easter Island. "late-quaternary vegetation and climate of Easter Island."