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Easter Island Mystery Solved

Easter Island Thriller Solved New Principle Says Big Statues Rocked
Potbellies might assist explain how the moai had been moved.

To move every moai, two teams could have rocked it aspect to facet whereas a rear group saved it upright.
Stone Island Membrana Light Jacket Shiny BlackIllustration by Fernando G. Baptista, National Geographic

For centuries, scientists have tried to solve the thriller of how the colossal stone statues of Easter Island moved. Now there’s a new theory—and it rocks.

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The multiton behemoths traveled up to eleven miles (18 kilometers) from the quarry the place most of them have been carved, without the advantage of wheels, cranes, and even giant animals.

Scientists have tested many ideas in the past, figuring that the islanders should have used a combination of log rollers, ropes, and picket sledges. Now a pair of archaeologists have come up with a brand new principle: Perhaps the statues, referred to as moai, had been “engineered to maneuver” upright in a rocking movement, using solely manpower and rope.

Watch video: Easter Island statues rocking ahead
Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii and Carl Lipo of California State University Lengthy Seaside have labored carefully with archaeologist Sergio Rapu, who’s a part of the South Pacific island’s inhabitants of indigenous Rapanui, to develop their idea. They’ve noticed that fat bellies allowed the statues to be tilted ahead easily, and heavy, D-formed bases could have allowed handlers to roll and rock the moai facet to side.

Final 12 months, in experiments funded by the National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Council, Hunt and Lipo showed that as few as 18 people might, with three sturdy ropes and a bit of observe, easily and relatively shortly maneuver a ten-foot (three-meter), five-ton moai replica just a few hundred yards (just a few hundred meters). No logs have been required. (Nationwide Geographic News is a division of the Society.)

In previous efforts to solve the thriller, Czech engineer Pavel Pavel worked with Norwegian explorer-adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and a group of 17 helpers to propel an upright, 13-foot (4-meter), 9-ton moai ahead with twisting motions, preserving the statue totally upright always. That was in 1986. But Pavel’s team broken the moai’s base and needed to stop. (Related: “Easter Island Settled Later, Depleted Faster Than Thought “)

A 12 months later U.S. archaeologist Charles Love and a team of 25 erected a 13-foot (4-meter), nine-ton mannequin upright on a wood sledge and moved it over log rollers, advancing it 148 feet (45 meters) in two minutes.

(Podcast: Nationwide Geographic’s Hannah Bloch on Easter stone island jas mussola gommata Island statue theories.)
Meanwhile, for many of Easter Island’s 2,000 or so indigenous Rapanui, descended from the original Polynesian settlers, the reply is easy. “We know the truth,” says Suri Tuki, 25, a tour information.

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