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Easter Island Statues

Investigate the theories about the creation of the figures on Easter Island and write an explanation that tells how, why, and when they were carved.

Also read about the theories regarding how the figures were moved. Offer information about the theory you feel is most logical and explain why.

Explain how the construction and movement of the statues had an ecological impact on the island
What does the construction of something this monumental tell us about the complexities of the society that created them?

Offer your thoughts as to why human beings are compelled to create massive works of art. Do you think that such compulsions exist in our society today? Explain your answer.

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Investigate the theories about the creation of the figures on Easter Island and write an explanation that tells how, why, and when they were carved.

There have been numerous theories regarding the creation of the Easter Island (now known as Rapanui) figures (Moai.) The site was 'discovered' on Easter Sunday, 1722, by Dutch navigator, Jacob Roggeveen. Archaeological excavation began in the late 19th C., and reached high level of intensity with the Norwegian expedition led by Thor Heyerdahl. As archaeology was a relatively new field at this time, field practices were not as developed as is the case today. Theories were often far afield of what would later be discovered as reality. For example, it has long been thought that the Easter Island heads were just that - heads. Recent archaeological work has led to the realization that many of the Moai had bodies, and were dislocated from them at some time in history.

How: It is generally accepted (meaning that there is reputable scholarship to back up this statement) that the figures were carved at the quarries and then dragged or pulled to their various display locations. How the figures were moved is a matter of debate (see below). Since the craftsmen (members of a guild from various clans) did not have metal tools, the most probable theory regarding carving techniques is that the figures were created using abrasion (water and grit of a harder stone). Most of the figures were of Tufa, some were of basalt. The eyes of many were inlaid with mother of pearl. Top-knots/headdresses were created of red tufa.

Why: The most accepted ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses Easter Island statues.

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