Easter Island statues could have ‘walked’
The giant stone statues in Polynesia’s Easter Island may have just been “walked” out of quarry, according to a controversial new theory on how the monolithic human figures were transported to every corner of the island.
In a piece of experimental archaeology, a team of local and U.S. researchers showed that the massive statues, known as moai, can be moved from side to side by a small number of people, just as one might move a fridge.
“We constructed a precise three-dimensional 4.35 metric ton replica of an actual statue and demonstrated how positioning the center of mass allowed it to fall forward and rock from side to side causing it to ‘walk,'” Carl Lipo, an archaeologist at California State University, Long Beach, and colleagues wrote in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Nearly 1,000 huge statues stand on the remote Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island. With sizes ranging from about 6 to 33 feet in height, the rock effiges feature human-like figures ending at the top of the thighs with large heads, long ears and pursed lips.
Scholars have long debated how the multi-ton statues were moved from the quarry in Rano Raraku, an extinct volcano where they were carved, throughout the island’s rugged terrain.
Claims ranged from extra-terrestrial intervention to molding in situ. However, most archaeologists agree that the colossal stone statues were moved by rolling them on logs. In doing so, the statue-obsessed Rapa Nui people would have depleted the island of its forests.
But according to Lipo’s team, new evidence challenges the “longstanding notions of ‘ecocide’ and population collapse before European contact.”
Signs of the Times http://www.sott.net/article/252754-Easter-Island-statues-could-have-walked