For thousands of years, we have been studying incredible structures like the Great Pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge because we don’t know how these structures were built. Thousands of years ago, heavy machinery wasn’t invented, which makes people wonder how these structures were built. The Easter Island statues, also known as Moai, or the big stone heads, have also mystified us for centuries. Experts want to know how and why they were built. Recently, a clue was uncovered that could explain why they were created.
Over 1,000 years ago, a small group of Polynesian sailors made their way to Easter Island. In their native tongues, it was called Rapa Nui. According to the legend, when the group arrived on the island, Hotu Matu’a became the man in charge. He split the island between his sons, and he ruled it all. While they thrived on the island, it wasn’t meant to last.
Another Group Of Settlers
When another group of settlers arrived on the island, they tried to enslave the Polynesians. Their weird, long ears identified the group. The conflict began, and it was short ears vs. long ears. It all came down to one dramatic battle, and the short-eared tribe one. They remained in charge. The long-eared people were banished to an area of the island where they were subjected to the rule of the initial settlers. Many historians that the people had long ears because they were part of a ceremonial stretching.
Even though the two groups were involved in a conflict, they worked together to create an irrigation system as well as the statutes. The island is volcanic, so the ash from the volcano was an essential part of the construction of the heads. They caved the faces and the bodies with tools made from the volcanic materials. The rocks used for the statues also came from the island. Experts believe that it took up to three years to create the statues, but the real question was how did they move the stone without heavy equipment.
The Moai are up to 33-feet high and weigh about 80-tons. Since they only had basic tools back then, they would have been impossible to move. The people came up with an ingenues way to get the statues to where they still stand today. It is believed that the two groups help ropes on both sides, and slowly shimmied the figures to their location. When this was discovered, the experts learned more.
One of the most notable characteristics of the Moai formations were their exaggerated heads. They are not what they appear to be, and scientists made a discovery about them. After excavating the statues, the experts discovered that they just weren’t heads. It was the entire body. The body was buried under the sediment, so you could only see the heads. On the back of the statues were inscriptions. Researchers believe that they are the recorded family lineage of the two tribes. The red pigment that often identifies burials being found around the statues, the experts believe that they were buried together in areas around the sculpture. Now the question was, what caused the population to be wiped out?
The theory is that rats had stowed away on the ship, and started eating the tree seeds. Soon, there were no plants left, and the people starved. Soon, very few people were left. All that is left of the people are the religious statues that they created. Today, just over 5,000 people are living on Easter Island, and almost all of them are ancestors to the group of created the statues.
Because of the large number of tourists who visit the island, their preservation is at risk. The site is protected as a World Heritage Site, and experts want to make sure that it will be admired forever. With many of the mysteries solved, researchers still have questions. Archaeologists began an extensive excavation of the remote island, hoping to find traces of the past civilization. Underground, they found an ancient, wood-burning hearth. They believe that it would have been impossible for humans to dig through the glacial ice to get to the soil. As they dug, they found more things, such as tools, weapons, and artifacts. Some of the finds left the researchers puzzled because the Heiltsuk people didn’t use these kinds of tools.
According to the experts, the Heiltsuk people ate smoked salmon and used small tools to harvest this fish. The tolls and weapons found underground were use to hunt large sea mammals, such as sea lions and walruses. They also discovered a glass-like rock that is only found in areas where there is heavy volcanic activity. This puzzled the experts because there were no known volcanoes in that part of British Columbia. The researchers believe that the people who left the artifacts may have used a land bridge that existed between Alaska and Siberia during prehistoric times. Thanks to the find and carbon dating, the experts discovered that what they believed was all wrong. The objects dated back to a period before the Great Pyramid of Giza and predated the invention of the wheel. Since boats weren’t invented yet, how did they get to the island? Now they had to wonder if it was large prehistoric creatures that brought on the death of the inhabitants. With these new questions, you can expect new theories to arise. A new breakthrough on Easter Island is shattering our old ideas about the enigmatic statues. This could lead to the right answers.