02 June 2011

What lies beneath

Excavation of one of the Easter Island moai to demonstrate how much of the figure is anchored beneath the ground. 

More info here, more pix here, via.


  1. ...Which leads me to think they weren't moved there, just carved there.

  2. A colleague of mine a few years back organized the repositioning of a mehnir. It was a small one, only a little bit taller than a person; however it took around 30 people and a full day to put it in place.

    A great experience and now I know how hard it was to do this. And how organized the group must be to succeed.

  3. Funny how you can see the hands of the Moaï. Fascinating!

  4. The guy on top better have a good way of getting down!

  5. I think the rope will suffice.

  6. wow .... truly awesome .... how could they create such a thing .. and how could they hide it so deep ?

  7. Why is my first instinct to panic and tell them to put it all back?

    It seems so wrong to have done that. Normally I'd be fascinated and amazed but that picture just makes me nervous.

  8. A lot of erosion occurred on the island, when the inhabitants deforested it. This deforestation occurred as population pressure increased cultivation and land was stripped of its soil with heavy tropical rains which in turn reduced arable lands. That then accelerated the demise of the culture that erected the statues. That isn't a deep root to the statue, it is several meters of hill slope debris that has been redeposited to partially bury the statue. Notice the nicely carved hands in the excavated section. It really is a testimonial to poor soil husbandry.

    1. I think you're correct re the burial by slope erosion.


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