They Have Bodies!

Easter Island Stone Heads
In an email, I came across this bit of historical news and although I don't usually blog about this type of news it would certainly be considered travel news so I decided to include it here.  Mostly because I think it's cool. 
Most persons have at least heard of Easter Island.  It's a remote island deep in the South Pacific, considered part of Chili.  The natives call their island Rapa Nui or Te Pito o Te Henua, "the navel of the earth". Travelers can take excursions from either Santiago, Chile, or Lima, Peru in South America.  The island's claim to fame are the large statue heads, known as moaiThey stand as a testament to the culture and sculpting skills of early Polynesian inhabitants who are purported to have fashioned them.  

But is there more to these statues? 

Seemingly, to us, out of the blue, a group calling themselves the Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) decided to excavate around these heads. 
Looks to be about 20' deep!
To their surprise their digging revealed that these heads that dot the entire island have entire bodies!  It all adds to the mystery of these amazing sculptures and has already begun to give them many more insights into the culture of the Polynesians and the creation of these statues.  One of the two statues already excavated has been found to have petroglyphs and symbols that have increased the knowledge of the use of the heads, (evidently ceremonial traditions) their method of formation and how the island dwellers got there.  It has even led to their surmising the demise of the Polynesian people.  They used large trees to support the statues.   According to one reporter: "By the time Europeans discovered the island in the 1700's, the population had decimated nearly all the trees in the island to help with the statue construction, and the knock-on effect on the island's ecology led to their decline."

Not the First Ones to Dig

There are 887 of these 6 ton giants on the island and they were first reported to the outside world in 1868.  Evidently there have been excavations as early as 1914 which revealed statues of varying heights and degrees of being buried.  The remoteness of the island contributed to the project not making news in the states.  The burying was not deliberate, as was at first thought, but rather a result of the dirt being washed down from the mountains above onto the structures.

I received these photos in an email from a dear friend and RVer Judy, but was able to track them (thanks to Google) to the EISP website where you can find more info and a large collection of photos.  The beauty and remoteness of this island off the South American coast has made in one of the top ten on my bucket list, but I'll have to leave the RV home for this one.

Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned HiddenValley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with , Facebook and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV


Pamela Wright said...

I have known about Easter Island and the heads for at least 40 years. We are just now getting around to announcing that the heads have bodies??? Makes you wonder about some of the other things we were taught, doesn't it??

Mark and Teri said...

Snopes, the fact or fiction site, has verified this fact about the Easter Island statues but I just read a fb post questioning snopes, stating, "How can they know anything for sure." I know they do quite a bit of research before making a statement but anyone can be fooled...even snopes, I think.

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