Easter Island ResidentsInhabitants of Easter Island
Ahu Tongariki lies to the east of Rano Raraku, where a flood hit the south coast in 1960 following an Chile seismic event and 15 mai flowed upcountry. At the west end of the island lies the only city, Hanga Roa, where most of the 2,000 inhabitants of Rapa Nui are located.
The island's biggest volcano craters, Rana Kao, are located just southwards of the city. Speculations about how the islanders constructed the huge mai along the coast and in various places in the island's inland and brought it to the island of Åhu have fuelled the academic fantasy and debate that continues today. A number of experimentation was conducted with material that would have been available to the residents, and most researchers agreed that any technique they would have used would have involved a large amount of timber and wooden fibers: building sledges or other transfer cars, making cables, and creating handles to place the sculptures.
In the end, the island's timber consumption took almost all of its woodland, and when the luxuriant tropical rainforests vanished, the soil began to dig. Timber was lost, which ensured the insulation of the inhabitants for centuries. There were no kayaks on the island. For the indigenous inhabitants, the advent of Holland's seafarers after centuries of solitude was probably as unexpected as the exploration of a crowded island in such a secluded place for Europeans.
The Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) tool gathered this picture of the island on January 3, 2001.