Easter Island

How do you keep yourself entertained when you are on an island over 2000 miles from anyone else? Well, the people who settled on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island around the year 1050 liked stone carving in a big way. They created nearly 900 giant stone statues that have been found in different locations around the island. These gigantic figures–known as moai–were carved out of tuff (the light, holey rock which is compressed volcanic ash) and put on top of ceremonial stone platforms called ahus. The biggest statue is about 32 feet tall, and consists of a single block weighing about 82 tons. The rest of the statues average 13 feet high, with a weight of 13 tons. The stone carvers were creative in making the most out of sections of rock. Moai can be seen carved in all directions in the island’s cliffs. If a defect would appear in the rock the statue would be abandoned and they moved on to another area. They took advantage of cracks in the volcanic walls and also variations in colors to create their statues. No records are left to explain why these statues were carved, or how they were moved around the island, though some think trees were cut down and used as rollers.  I wish I could go back in time to find out – those are big statues!  Purrs, Gulliver

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