When it comes to Easter Island, not everyone can say with certainty where this island is located, but almost everyone remembers the eccentric statues - stone heads, which, in fact, made this island so popular. For a long time, the origin of these statues was shrouded in legends, but with one of them - WHY they were created - it seems that scientists managed to figure it out.
In total, more than 900 statues, or as they are also called, moai, were discovered on Easter Island, which, by the way, is located in the Pacific Ocean. These are rather big pedestals - on average, their size is 3-5 meters, and they weigh about 5 tons. There are some very large moai that reach 12 meters (about the size of a 4 storey building) and weigh more than 10 tons. There is only one statue that is fundamentally different from all the others - it is located in the quarry and is still not separated from the base. Its size is 21 meters. It is quite logical that this statue was named El Gigante.
Since there are a lot of moai, they are all made not of the same material, but of different ones, but most of them are from local volcanic rocks. They were made in different parts of the island, and then transported to a new location. The reason for their transportation caused, and is still causing heated debate among researchers. Carving even one such statue is hard work. And transporting several tons to a new place is even more difficult.
Almost all of the statues are located near the coastal area. Some of them are looking at the ocean, others inland, some have fallen, others are holding on. It is believed that they were created by the aborigines of the island somewhere between 1250 and 1500, and during this time, of course, the original position of the statues could have changed greatly due to earthquakes and tsunamis.
So why did the locals work so hard to create and move these statues? Some scholars believe that moai served as a symbol of power - both religious and political. Perhaps these statues were used for a kind of connection with spirits, and the ruler who had more moai or they were taller had more weight in society.
Archaeologists believe the moai may have been a tribute to the ancestors of the islanders. Perhaps that is why the statues look in different directions in order to somehow protect the inhabitants of local settlements from evil spirits or to help the sailors find their way back to the island.
And recently, a group of anthropologists led by Karl Lipo made a new assumption. For the past 20 years, Lipo has been studying the local people - Rapa Nui. He was interested in their life, religion, and most importantly - the reason why they created stone moai.
In addition, Lipo was interested in the question of how the islanders managed to survive, given how little fresh water there actually was on the island. So, together with his assistants, he began to study how underground sources of fresh water pass on the island. And the most interesting thing is that in those places where the sources were closest to the surface of the earth, there were statues!
“The more we looked, the more obvious the pattern became,” says Karl Lipo. - In places where there was no fresh water, there is no moai. An amazing pattern that repeated itself wherever we studied the area. And even when we found moai in the depths of the island, there was a source of drinking water very close! That was a real surprise."
Of course, this theory still needs additional study, but it looks like the most reasoned of all the existing ones.However, in any case, she moved scientists much closer to understanding the culture and life of the local people. Moreover, quite recently, scientists also made another discovery - they found out how the ancient tribes managed to hoist heavy "hats" on the heads of moai.
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