Located in the South Pacific Ocean this island covers an area of 64 square miles. One of the most remote islands on earth, Rapa Nui as called by its earliest occupants is 2,300 miles from Chile’s west coast and 2,500 miles east of Tahiti. The Dutch explorers arrived on this tiny island in 1722 and they were welcomed by the Rapa Nui people back then. But soon after the explorers mingled with these people the population dwindled and eventually they died out. Although their decedents still live on, today the island is completely vacant and is visited by curious tourists who are looking for an offbeat yet an interesting vacation on this mysterious island. Tourism is being promoted by Chile today as in the 19th century it gained control over it. Easter Island’s most impressive claim to fame is an ensemble of almost 900 giant stone sculptures dating back over several centuries. More importantly, many mysteries are surrounding the island that is still unanswered and the mainstream historical and archaeological explanation for these enigmatic stone structures does not reveal its true purpose or when they were built.
The known history of the island
The Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, arrived in 1722 and was the first known European visitor to Easter Island. The Dutch called Paaseiland Island (Easter Island) to celebrate the day they landed. In 1770, the Spanish viceroy of Peru sent an expedition to the island; the explorers spent four days on the coast, reporting a local population of some 3,000. Four years later, British navigator, Sir James Cook returned to see the inhabitants of Easter Island decimated by what appeared to have been a civil war, with only 600 to 700 people and fewer than 30 women left.
When a French navigator, Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de La Perouse, landed in 1786, he encountered 2000 inhabitants on the island. A major raid by Peru for the slave trade in 1862, followed by smallpox epidemics, reduced the population to just 111 by 1877. Around that time, Catholic missionaries had arrived on Easter Island and started to convert the population into Christianity, a task that was accomplished by the late 19th century. Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888, leasing much of the land for breeding sheep. In 1965 the Chilean government appointed a civilian governor for Easter Island, and the inhabitants of the island became full citizens of Chile.
The Easter Island statues
The famous Moai statues of Easter Island are one of the most enigmatic ancient Mysteries that have long baffled the experts but new research claims to have shed light and exactly what their purpose was. There are in total approximately 900 statues on this small island located in the Pacific Ocean most are found around the coast and the majority are carved from solidified volcanic ash sometime between the years 1200 and 1600 A.D.
This is clear evidence for two different areas of stone sculpting, But that is a handful of older Moai made of harder Basalt and could date back hundreds if not thousands of years earlier, an example of a Basalt Moai is seen today standing in the British Museum. They are said to be representations of the Polynesian people’s ancestors. We also have a clear understanding of how they were cut and shaped because the construction of the Moai was abandoned abruptly and we can still see unfinished statues attached to the bedrock in various stages of development.
Archaeologists have also found a selection of stone tools that were used to carve the relatively malleable volcanic Tuff.
Even though the mainstream offers a simple interpretation creating the Moai is no small feat. Some of the statues are 10 meters long and weigh 75 tons. There are also some unfinished Moai 21 meters long and weighing approximately 250 tons. But even though their size is huge archaeologists believe they know how they were carved but also moved as there have been many successful experiments by people moving the Moai with wooden sleds, ropes, and rollers with minimal labor.
In a more recent study, Terry Hunt of Hawaii University and Carl Lipo of California State University Long Beach collaborated closely with archeologist Sergio Rapu, who is part of the indigenous Rapanui community on the South Pacific island, to establish their theory. They found that fat bellies made it easier to tip the statues forward, and thick, D-shaped bases may have helped the handlers to rock the heavy statue side by side and move it forward using a counterweight system
Are the statues older than we think?
And why do we think it is older for a start? There are no battle quarries on Easter Island, and so nobody knows where this Moai statue came from.
Robert M. Schoch puts forward a very valid argument that the Quarry location is actually underneath the ocean when the sea level was lower before the end of the last ice age and hence the basaltic statues are very ancient indeed. This theory is backed up geologically and Stratigraphy as the only basaltic outcrops are in the shallow seas around the island.
There is also a photo taken around a hundred years ago showing another bustled Moai that was built into a wall that supported a platform for the later volcanic Tuff Moai statues.
This is clear evidence for two different eras of stone sculpting. The body of another basalt Moai was found buried in the sand in 1956 and the head was found in 1988 under another platform wall again indicating a more ancient date.
And there’s even more evidence buried underground in a far more ancient stratigraphic layer to the more recent volcanic Tuff Moai. There are perfectly constructed stone walls precision-cut and showing evidence of high technology.
Like we see in pre-Inca structures of South America and that brings us back to the mainstream interpretation as to why people say many of the Moai are buried? Experts say that soil had slid downhill due to deforestation, but this is certainly not the case for this statue shown here. Just look at how much soil has accumulated. This isn’t around 800 years of soil creep and geologists have also proved that this Moai wasn’t placed in a hole.
This is natural sedimentation and is therefore very ancient indeed. The dogmatic mainstream view of Easter Island is that the Polynesians were the only Settlers of Easter Island, but they are huge similarities between the stonework of ancient pre-Inca civilizations of Peru and the stonework displayed on Easter Island.
Why Moai statues gaze the sky?
Several mysteries require a lot more research and the truth about the Moai isn’t always forthcoming by Scholars.
Firstly, if the Moai are facing Inland then why are they looking up to the sky?
One of the possible explanation comes from the rongorongo script which is a beautiful artistic creation that was carved in hieroglyphic like characters on wooden tablets, but it is yet to be fully deciphered as 19th-century missionaries, encourage the natives to burn most of the tablets.
The age of the script is argued over and while some believe it is thousands of years old others say it is a more modern language which when you study it is quite unbelievable. The script certainly has ancient Origins and May, in fact, be the answer to why the huge statues look up to the sky.
Los Alamos plasma scientist, Anthony L. Peratt has interpreted the petroglyphs and he believes that it records an intense plasma event in the skies thousands of years ago, an event that Peratt believes ended the last ice age. The Easter Island script has symbols that match petroglyphs found worldwide and he believes they record the same prehistoric solar event. Plasma hitting the surface of the Earth would heat infused Rock incinerate flammable material melts ice caps vaporize shallow bodies of water create an extended Deluge of rain and warm the planet the fast removal of ice sheets can induce earthquakes and the tectonic activity can activate volcanoes plunging the world into chaos.
This was an event that many believe eliminated Advanced civilizations and remnants of which became scattered around the earth. The Moai of Easter Island are believed to have been carved out 10,000 years after this plasma event.
So the theory presents another mystery did the Polynesians actually build the Moai or were they already there gazing up to the sky as a warning to Future Generations. If the Polynesians did build them were they copying stone structures that were already on the island as a kind of homage to the ancient ancestors of Easter Island and other wooden tablets copied from an earlier source as well.
This is very possible because what the mainstream doesn’t tell us is that there are two different sets of Moai on Easter Island and one is certainly far more ancient than the other. Although we are told that the Moai are all made of volcanic Tuff. This is only true for the more modern variants.
The more ancient examples are carved out of solid Basalt a very hard igneous volcanic rock at that. It is far more difficult to carve and Volcanic Tuff an example of the more ancient form is shown here and is actually on display in the British Museum. And why do we think it is older for a start? There are no open quarries on Easter Island, and so nobody knows where this Moai statue came from.
Robert Schoch puts forward a very valid argument that the Quarry location is actually underneath the ocean when the sea level was lower before the end of the last ice age and hence the basaltic statues are very ancient indeed. This theory is backed up geologically and stratigraphically as the only basaltic outcrops are in the shallow seas around the island.
There is also a photo taken around a hundred years ago showing another bustled Moai that was built into a wall that supported a platform for the later volcanic Tuff Moai statues.
This is clear evidence for two different areas of stone sculpting.
The body of another bustle Moai was found buried in the sand in 1956 and the head was found in 1988 under another platform wall again indicating a more ancient date.
And there’s even more evidence buried underground in a far more ancient stratigraphic layer to the more recent volcanic Tuff Moai.
There are perfectly constructed stone walls precision-cut and showing evidence of high technology.
Like we see in pre-Inca structures of South America and that brings us back to the mainstream interpretation as to why people say many of the Moai are buried Experts say that soil had slid downhill due to deforestation, but this is certainly not the case for this statue shown here.
Just look at how much soil has accumulated. This isn’t around 800 years of soil creep and geologists have also proved that this Moai wasn’t placed in a hole. This is natural sedimentation and is therefore very ancient indeed. The dogmatic mainstream view of Easter Island is that the Polynesians were the only Settlers of Easter Island, but they are huge similarities between the stonework of ancient pre-Inca civilizations of Peru and the stonework displayed on Easter Island.
Who made the Easter Island statues?
It’s home to one of the most isolated communities in the world and according to the islands Legend. It was first settled by a small band of colonists, who are trying to flee a local Chief. It’s believed that the Polynesians migrated to the island around the 12th century choosing the migrated to Easter Island was an odd choice. The island is just over 64 square miles and the island lacked freshwater when the people first arrived the Crater Lakes provided the only water source for the settlers and their crops the environment was hostile but Rapa Nui people chose to move there Anyway. Today. There’s very little information about the people who settled here.
They also discovered that the materials were sourced from a single location. The researchers also discovered that the group worked together some believe that there was a social harmony between the tribes but others disagree, there’s a lot we don’t know about Easter Island the questions currently outweigh the answers. A team of researchers did find something surprising while Excavating the statues after centuries. Earlier, it was believed that the statues were just heads after digging in though. They discovered that the statues had bodies that went several feet underground.
This was a huge Discovery for those researching the statues.
It’s believed that the Earth eroded and shifted over time and the statues sunk into the Earth. The high level of erosion without an ample amount of rainfall suggests that the statues might have been older than we first thought. More research into this aspect can shed some light on the true age of these magnificent statues.
The hidden source of freshwater found
During a recent study, the researchers from New York’s Binghamton University are suggesting that the now Lost Civilization of Easter Island used the iconic statues to signal locations where fresh water was available Anthropologist Carl Lipo has been looking into how the local Rapa Nui people were able to survive with such limited access to drinking water? He led a team that conducted field studies of groundwater around the coast.
Dr. Lippo wondered how with no springs or streams and very The rainfall did the civilization of approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people survive a mystery that many have overlooked when studying the ancient Moai of Easter Island. Testimonies of the first European explorers said that the people of Easter Island were forced to rely on brackish groundwater when there was a shortage of freshwater such as droughts and the findings were published in the hydrogeology journal. The water is saltier than freshwater, but not as salty as seawater, and can be found in coastal areas.
The study says to field surveys indicate abundant locations of brackish for potable water along the coastline. Although Coastal groundwater sources are of poor quality. They were sufficient to support the population. The water was intercepted by trenches possibly collected in small ponds or just recovered from the surface of seawater. The study states that this is why the civilization built the Magnificent 9-meter-high statues for which Easter Island is now famous.
Dr. Lipo added now that we know more about the location of freshwater and the location of these monuments and other features makes tremendous sense. He continued the opposition where freshwater is Available fortunately water beneath the ground flows downhill and ultimately exits the ground directly at the point at which the poorest Subterranean Rock meets the ocean when tides are low this results in the flow of freshwater directly into the sea humans can thirst to take advantage of these sources of freshwater by capturing the water at these points.
Interestingly there are no identifiable brackish water sources inland and unsurprisingly. There are no Moai statues inland either. Where there is water there is life and having huge symbols of life human statues at the sources of the groundwater makes complete sense and many of the statues are seen to be carrying objects on their heads.
Could these objects be water vessels has there been evidence for these new claims staring us in the face all along?
What led to the collapse of Easter Island?
It’s believed that they worship their ancestors and constructed the Moai to honor them. Jared Diamond a geographer has a theory of how the people on the island died off. He blames the actual construction of the Moai heads. Many trees had to be cut down to transport the Moai as the wood was used as a type of transport sled. The excessive use of wood meant that there was not much left to build shelters and canoes. This made challenging conditions even worse the deforestation opened up the land to erosion which made it difficult to grow food. Even if they would have wanted to leave the island, they must have had very limited wood to build canoes. Eventually sealing their fate.
It’s also believed that Polynesian. Rats contributed to the downfall of the Rapa Nui people. The rats came along early settlers and then multiplied as they do. It is believed that a rat population of about 3.1 million could have been present at some point in time. This rat infestation could have caused a huge problem across the landscape. Although there has been evidence that Rapa Nui people consumed rats and less of seafood, it is still debatable did the Rapa Nui eventually resort to cannibalism to survive as their homes began to collapse as time went on Easter Island became less and less habitable?
Popular theorists believe that tension between rival tribes was heightened as their resources dwindled when the Europeans arrived on the island in 1722. The population had dropped from fifteen thousand to two thousand. With the arrival of the explorer’s things got worse. The locals were attacked by Peruvian slave traders who took 50% of the population against their will. Ultimately smallpox and tuberculosis killed the few that remained by 1877. There were only 100 Rapa Nui left on the island the population never recovered.
But if we look back, Easter Island is a grim reminder of how overexploitation of resources can cause a whole civilization to collapse. We today can learn from their mistakes and try not to repeat them.
Not only that in 2014 genome data from the indigenous population was found to support early contact between Easter Island and the Americas There is Polynesian ancestry, but also South American, and to me this says that the most ancient civilization on Easter Island originated from South America.
A recent scientific paper in a geological Journal has already pushed back the origins of Easter Island to at least 450 BC and I’m sure that date will continue to be pushed back even further. At Orongo in Southwest Easter Island. There are the less well-known birdmen petroglyphs that date back to a more ancient time interestingly the Birdman imagery also feature on the back of the more ancient Basalt Moai that is on display in the British Museum.
More evidence for a more ancient Easter Island comes from the similarities between the Moai and the stone structures of the twelve-thousand-year old site of Gobekli Tepe the humanoid statues are both locations share similar postures with arms and hands coming together at the navel which researchers believe symbolizes birth or rebirth.
Interestingly Easter Islands’ original name ‘The Pitoote Hanua’ means the navel of the world. Many statues found in Bolivia at Tiwanaku in Colombia Egypt and Costa Rica all show the same features.
In my opinion, Easter Island has a history going back Millennia and was once home to a very ancient civilization the remnants of which we can see in various ancient sites across the world.
The mainstream interpretation of Easter Island is full of holes, but researchers like scientist Robert Schoch taking a strong interest in the site.
I am sure that the true history of Easter Island will one day come to light and change the Way, we look at human civilization forever. Until then you can look for a vacation to Easter island package or even book cruises to Easter island in 2021. It is a very interesting place to visit and a must for offbeat travelers who are looking for a different traveling experience altogether.