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TechnologyEaster Island statues: researchers explain their location

18:30  11 january  2019
18:30  11 january  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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The huge stone figures of Easter Island have beguiled explorers, researchers and the wider world for centuries, but now experts say they have cracked one of the They say the finding backs up the idea that aspects of the construction of the platforms and statues , such as their size, could be tied to the

Easter Island (Rapa Nui: Rapa Nui, Spanish: Isla de Pascua) is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania.

Easter Island statues: researchers explain their location© Andia/UIG via Getty Images Researchers say Easter Island's statues were situated near sources of fresh water.

When it comes to Easter Island's towering stone heads, there's now one fewer mystery to solve.

Researchers have long puzzled over why the huge statues were placed where they are. However, a new study says the people of Rapa Nui, as the island is called in the local language, positioned them near sources of humanity's most vital resource: fresh water.

Archaeologists studied the location of the statues, or moai, and the platforms on which many of them stand, known as ahu. Polynesian seafarers first arrived on Rapa Nui, 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile, approximately 900 years ago.

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Moai /ˈmoʊ.aɪ/ (listen), or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500.

Easter Island statues . But once you appreciate the size and scale of these massive stone sculptures you begin to wonder; Who put them here? You will notice that the statues here all have their backs to the sea; they’re all facing inland. Why? Well lets answer the first question: So who put these

They then went on to construct more than 300 ahu and almost 1,000 moai, which are believed to represent significant ancestors.

The authors of the new study, published in the journal PLOS One, isolated an eastern area of Rapa Nui, containing 93 ahu. Researchers from six US institutions analyzed the natural resources near the ahu, focusing on rock mulch gardens in which crops like sweet potatoes were grown, marine resources including sites for fishing, and sources of fresh water.

There proved to be no significant correlation between the location of the ahu and the presence of nearby gardens, suggesting that the ahu were not situated in order to monitor or signal control over these resources.

While both marine resources and fresh water sources were found near the ahu, the researchers concluded only the latter was significant; after all, both typically occur in the same locations and fresh water was much less widely available.

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The mysterious moai statues at Easter Island are ancient remnants of a great past. Why were they built? Read on to find out! Many know them as the Easter Island heads. This is a misconception from having seen photos of statues in the volcano Rano Raraku partitially covered up with soil.

Making moai--the haunting statues of Easter Island --involved carving a range of volcanic and It appears as if most of them were carved lying on their backs. After the carving was completed, the The Statue Road Network on Easter Island . Scholars believe these moai were deliberately set up

According to the study's authors, the availability of fresh water probably explains why most of the island's statues are situated near the coast. "One of the most abundant sources of freshwater, coastal seeps, occurs primarily in coastal locations," they wrote. The location of inland monuments could also be explained by their proximity to fresh water sources.

The findings suggest that Rapa Nui's moai and ahu were valuable beyond their ancestral significance, the study authors concluded.

"If Rapa Nui's monuments did indeed serve a territorial display function," they wrote, "then their patterns are best explained by the availability of the island's limited freshwater."

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