The Well-Known Easter Island Head Statues Are Completely Human

This funny image with two of the famous Easter Island statues sitting with their body and folded arms under the ground is not as far from reality as one might think.

image

We all have seen the iconic images of the Easter Island heads – at least on photos and videos. Yet, not many of us know that those heads actually have hidden bodies buried underneath the earth.

According to Van Tilburg, a researcher at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, “The reason people think they are [only] heads is there are about 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues. This suggested to people who had not seen photos of [other unearthed statues on the island] that they are heads only.”

A team of archaeologists at UCLA developed the Easter Island Statue Project to better study and preserve the statues of the Rapa Nui, the people who carved these figures between 1,100 and 1,500 CE from stone found on their islands situated in the South Pacific. Through this work, the team excavated several of the heads to reveal the underlying torso and body.

image

The heads had been covered by successive mass transport deposits on the island that buried the statues lower part. These events enveloped the statues and gradually buried them to their heads as the islands naturally weathered and eroded through the centuries.

A total of almost 1,000 statues on the small Pacific Island have been documented and studied in the framework of the project which spanned 9 years. The team determined, as far it was possible, the meaning, function and history of each individual statue.

image

image

They found etched petroglyphs on the backs of the figures, commonly crescent shaped to represent Polynesian canoes. The canoe motif is likely the symbol of the carver’s family, providing clues as to different familial or group structures on the island.

image

Abundant red pigment was found at the human burial sites of several individuals, suggesting that the statues were painted red likely during ceremonies. These burial sites often surround the statues, suggesting that the Rapa Nui buried their dead with the family’s statue.

image

And finally, here’s is how the famous statues were carved. The one below was carved but never erected, and would have stood 72ft tall (the tallest standing is 33ft high), weighing more than 2 Boeing 737’s.

image

Related Posts

Early Explorers of the Maya Civilization: From Aguilar to Waldek

Maya Exploration #99 About 4 kilometers from the village of Xul in Yucatan, are the ruins of kom, “group c”. On site it is possible to identify…

Harper’s Cave, near the Franco-Spanish border, is a fascinating natural wonder. This cave is a geological formation called an anticline, which is a fold in rock layers where the oldest layers are at the center, arching upwards.

Harper’s Cave, near the Franco-Spanish border, is a fascinating natural wonder.This cave is a geological formation called an anticline, which is a fold in rock layers where…

A number of German VOMAG buses were modified to serve as transporters or platforms for the 8.8 cm flak gun. There is little information available, although it’s possible that 20–40 were produced; there is proof that they were active in Budapest in 1944.

A number of German VOMAG buses were modified to serve as transporters or platforms for the 8.8 cm flak gun. There is little information available, although it’s…

The Initiation Well of the world's most mysterious secret society in Portugal

According to Ancient Origins, the Quinta da Regaleira castle is a world heritage site located in the center of Sintra town. The building has unique architecture, mixing Gothic, Egyptian, Moroccan, and Renaissance styles. According to Ancient Origins, Quinta da Regaleira castle is…

Excavation of pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb reveals shocking secrets

. The entrance to the tomb still has the seal intact. Accordingly, this is one of the most intact Egyptian tombs found to date. Soon after, archaeologist Howard Carter's team conducted excavations. From there, they took turns decoding many secrets…

Eternal Splendor Revealed: Unveiling the Astonishing Beauty That Mesmerized Ancient Egypt

Queen Nefertiti was famous in ancient Egypt not only for her beautiful beauty but also for causing great upheavals in society when she and her husband, pharaoh Amenhotep IV, implemented a religious revolution. Important Decisions According to historical records, the Queen…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *