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Has The Easter Island Mystery Been Solved?

The mysterious Moai statues of Easter Island have gazed inland for lots of of years.

Garment-Dyed Cargo Shorts In BlackAnd now specialists consider they have lastly found how the Rapa Nui folks positioned distinctive ‘hats’ made from purple stone on high of among the figures’ heads, greater than seven hundred years ago.

They imagine that the hats, or ‘pukao’, have been rolled up ramps to achieve the top of the figures which measure as much as 40ft (12 metres) tall.

Mystery Garment-Dyed Coat In Blue solved? Specialists believe they have lastly discovered how the Rapa Nui folks positioned distinctive hats made from red stone on top of a number of the Easter Island figures’ heads, more than 700 years in the past

Regardless of the size of the statues, Sean Hixon an undergraduate pupil in archaeology and geology at the College of Oregon, believes the rolling of the bulky stones would have been comparatively straightforward.

‘It seems like a relatively small quantity of people could have finished it, either by levering or rolling,’ he advised the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.



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This is regardless of the largest pukaos measuring six-and-a-half feet (two metres) in diameter and weighing 12 tonnes (1,890 stone).

Some 1,000 carved Moai line the perimeter of the 12 mile (25km) volcanic island, which is probably the most remoted inhabited landmass on Earth with just 6,000 residents.

A tall order: Physicists imagine that the pukao, or ‘hats,’ had been rolled up ramps to reach the highest of the figures (examples are pictured left and proper), some of which measure up to 40 ft (12 metres) tall

Distant: Some 1,000 carved Moai line the perimeter of the 12 mile (25km) volcanic island, which is the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth with simply 6,000 residents


The Moai are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui folks on Easter Island, between 1,250 and 1,500 Advert.

All the figures have overly-giant heads and are thought to be living faces of deified ancestors.

The 887 statues gaze inland across the island with a mean peak of 13ft (four metres).

All but fifty three of the Moai had been carved from tuff – compressed volcanic ash – and around one hundred wear pink pukao of scoria.

In 1979 archaeologists said the statues have been designed to hold coral eyes.

The figures are believed to be image of authority and power.

They may have embodied former chiefs and have been repositories of spirits or ‘mana’.

They’re positioned in order that ancient ancestors watch over the villages, while seven look out to sea to help travellers find land.

But it is a mystery as to how the vast carved stones have been transported into place.

The island is half the scale of the Isle of Wight, or twice the scale of Manhattan, and lies 2,236 miles (three,600km) west of the South American mainland.

Since Europeans came to Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, within the 1700s, people have questioned how the huge carved stones have been erected, full with their ‘hats’.

Some consultants consider the stones were walked into place, while others have steered that locals chopped down timber to roll the statues into place, unwittingly destroying the forests and causing their own demise by way of lack of natural sources.

An estimated a hundred pukao have been found up to now, either in place on the statues, or scattered nearby.

They are made from crimson volcanic rock referred to as scoria and consultants are divided as to what they might have been, with ideas starting from hairstyles to turbans and diadems.

Despite this, many agree that the red colour of the stone signifies that the pukao had ritual significance.

Mr Hixon’s crew used fundamental physics to model the power and torque required to put a pukao on a Moai’s head, utilizing different techniques.

These included rolling a ‘hat’ up a ramp, building a tower, utilizing a pulley system and putting the ‘hat’ on the statue earlier than raising the entire statue as one.

They concluded that the rounded oblong form of the pukao means that it would have required comparatively little energy to roll them up a ramp.

Standing guard: An estimated a hundred pukao have been found up to now, either in place on the statues or scattered close by. This map reveals the situation of the 887 statues, which gaze inland across the island, with a median peak of 13ft (4 metres)

It might have been potential for less than 10 males to roll a ‘hat’ into place, as a result of the oblong navy stone island polo form stopped it simply rolling down the ramp once more, however was nonetheless a fine condition for being hauled upwards.

Some of the statues have indentations which can have stopped them tipping over during placement of the pukao.

And quite a lot of the ‘hats also have vertical marks and ring-formed indentations on their facet, which may point out that strips of wood had been used to offer traction up the ramp.

Nonetheless, while the group thinks ramps have been the more than likely method for the placing of the hats, their fashions revealed that any of the proposed strategies for raising the pukao would have been attainable – with sufficient manpower.

Erosion and injury have also scarred the sides of the pukao, meaning that evaluation of marks and scratches is ‘far from conclusive’.


It’s not known exactly how the vast Easter Island statues came to line the perimeter of the small island.

However in 2013, scientists claimed they could have been walked into place.

A group led by Archaeologists Carl Lipo from the University of California State University Lengthy Seaside, and Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii claimed the statues’ bases had been carved so they might lean forward to make them easier to transport.

Stroll the walk: A workforce of experts created a 5-tonne replica of one of the statues and moved it into an upright position on a dirt path in Hawaii, to show that the statues could have been ‘walked’ into place

The researchers illustrated the theory by creating a 5-tonne replica of one of many statues and transferring it into an upright place on a dirt path in Hawaii.

With just a few ropes, a crew of 18 individuals might rock the statue back and forth, every time inching the statue on just a little bit bit more. The mode of transport would have taken about two weeks.

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