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Keyword: rapanui

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  • Did Easter Island Really Collapse?

    01/06/2015 2:28:02 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Tuesday, January 06, 2015 | editors
    A new study contradicts the idea that the prehistoric Rapa Nui people of Easter Island suffered a demographic collapse brought on by poor environmental stewardship. Scholars had theorized that unchecked agricultural growth after the first settlers arrived around A.D. 1200 strained the island's fragile ecosystem to the breaking point, leading to the erosion of topsoil and the eventual death by starvation of many members of Rapa Nui society. But prehistoric demographics are notoriously difficult to determine with precision. reports that an international research team has evaluated the claim that the population of Easter Island collapsed by studying how land...
  • Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

    12/19/2014 11:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    University of Otago ^ | Tuesday, 16 December 2014 | Ms Monica Tromp
    Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonised around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries. However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon...
  • Thor Heyerdahl and the Pyramids of Greece

    04/25/2002 4:35:53 PM PDT · by Richard Poe · 18 replies · 1,554+ views ^ | April 26, 2002 | Richard Poe
    WITH ALL THE WAR NEWS blaring from our TV sets, few Americans found time last week to mark the passing of 87-year-old Thor Heyerdahl. Yet his death haunts and accuses us, like a dagger pointed at our hearts. The great Norwegian explorer lived as few men dare to live in this effeminate age. Heyerdahl roamed the seas in primitive, handmade craft, as intimate with death as his Viking forebears had been. In 1947, he sailed more than 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a balsa-log raft named Kon-Tiki. He crossed the Atlantic in 1970, in a ship of reeds,...
  • In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl

    08/16/2002 1:32:09 PM PDT · by Richard Poe · 35 replies · 978+ views ^ | August 16, 2002 | Richard Poe
    WHEN THOR HEYERDAHL died in April, the mass media fell oddly mute. Some readers told me that they learned of the great Norwegian explorer’s death only a week later, by reading my eulogy on the Internet. Such apathy seems hard to fathom. Every schoolboy once read Kon-Tiki and dreamed of conquering the waves as Heyerdahl had done. Perhaps, imbued with the modern philosophy of "safety first," today’s journalists no longer wish to encourage such dreams. Media apathy has likewise greeted Dominique Goerlitz – Heyerdahl’s apprentice and heir apparent. On July 20, this 35-year-old German schoolteacher landed in Alexandria, Egypt, after...
  • In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl

    09/19/2002 2:02:05 PM PDT · by robowombat · 5 replies · 183+ views
    richard ^ | August 16, 2002 | Richard Poe
    In the Footsteps of Heyerdahl By Richard Poe August 16, 2002 WHEN THOR HEYERDAHL died in April, the mass media fell oddly mute. Some readers told me that they learned of the great Norwegian explorer’s death only a week later, by reading my eulogy on the Internet. Such apathy seems hard to fathom. Every schoolboy once read Kon-Tiki and dreamed of conquering the waves as Heyerdahl had done. Perhaps, imbued with the modern philosophy of "safety first," today’s journalists no longer wish to encourage such dreams. Media apathy has likewise greeted Dominique Goerlitz – Heyerdahl’s apprentice and heir apparent. On...
  • Floating A Big Idea: Ancient Use Of Rafts To Transport Goods Demonstrated

    03/22/2008 11:08:17 AM PDT · by blam · 25 replies · 702+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 3-22-2008 | MIT
    Floating A Big Idea: Ancient Use Of Rafts To Transport Goods DemonstratedMIT students built a small-scale replica of an ancient oceangoing sailing raft to study its seaworthiness and handling. (Credit: Donna Coveney/MIT) ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2008) — Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and carried tradegoods for thousands of miles all the way from modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Details of how the ancient trading system worked more than 1,000 years ago were reconstructed...
  • Top 100 Stories of 2008 #96: Ancient Traders Sailed the South American Seas

    12/06/2008 8:28:44 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 550+ views
    Journal Of Anthropological Research ^ | Volume 64, Number 1, Abstracts | Leslie Dewan and Dorothy Hosler
    Abstract: By approximately 100 BC Ecuadorian traders had established maritime commercial routes extending from Chile to Colombia. Historical sources indicate that they transported their merchandise in large, ocean-going sailing rafts made of balsa logs. By about AD 700 the data show that Ecuadorian metalworking technology had reached the west coast of Mexico but remained absent in the region between Guerrero and lower Central America. Archaeologists have argued that this technology was most plausibly transmitted via balsa raft exchange routes. This article uses mathematical simulation of balsa rafts’ mechanical and material characteristics to determine whether these rafts were suitable vessels for...
  • Ancient Trading Raft Sails Anew [ Thor Heyerdahl did it first ]

    05/15/2009 7:08:30 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 55 replies · 1,718+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 13, 2009 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    For the first time in nearly 500 years, a full-size balsa-wood raft just like those used in pre-Columbian Pacific trade took to the water on Sunday, May 10. Only this time, instead of the Pacific coast between Mexico and Chile where such rafts carried goods between the great civilizations of the Andes and Mesoamerica as long as a millennium ago, the replica raft was floated in the Charles River basin. The faithful reproduction of the ancient sailing craft, built from eight balsa logs brought from Ecuador for the project, was created in less than six weeks by 30 students in...
  • Early Americans helped colonise Easter Island

    06/09/2011 8:46:24 AM PDT · by Renfield · 13 replies
    New Scientist ^ | 06-06-2011 | Michael Marshall
    South Americans helped colonise Easter Island centuries before Europeans reached it. Clear genetic evidence has, for the first time, given support to elements of this controversial theory showing that while the remote island was mostly colonised from the west, there was also some influx of people from the Americas. ~~~snip~~~ Now Erik Thorsby of the University of Oslo in Norway has found clear evidence to support elements of Heyerdahl's hypothesis. In 1971 and 2008 he collected blood samples from Easter Islanders whose ancestors had not interbred with Europeans and other visitors to the island. Thorsby looked at the HLA genes,...
  • Fighting the Fungus [ Easter Island statues threatened by lichens ]

    10/08/2010 5:45:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    The Art Newspaper ^ | Saturday, October 9, 2010 | Tina Lepri
    Lichen are eating away at the Moai, the 400 volcanic stone heads that dominate the skyline of Easter Island. Earlier treatments to preserve these ancient monoliths at this World Heritage Site called for filling some of the most deeply corroded stones with concrete. Unfortunately, experts think that this treatment might have worsened the damaging effects of the wind and saltwater that batter the Polynesian island. In fact, the lichen may even be feeding off the concrete used to save the Moai. Professor Lorenzo Casamenti and five of his students from the restoration school Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence have found...
  • Clues to Prehistoric Human Exploration Found in Sweet Potato Genome

    01/21/2013 8:39:59 PM PST · by Theoria · 25 replies
    Science ^ | 21 Jan 2013 | Lizzie Wade
    Europeans raced across oceans and continents during the Age of Exploration in search of territory and riches. But when they reached the South Pacific, they found they had been beaten there by a more humble traveler: the sweet potato. Now, a new study suggests that the plant's genetics may be the key to unraveling another great age of exploration, one that predated European expansion by several hundred years and remains an anthropological enigma. Humans domesticated the sweet potato in the Peruvian highlands about 8000 years ago, and previous generations of scholars believed that Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced the crop...
  • Easter Island's Ancient Inhabitants Weren't So Lonely After All

    10/23/2014 2:15:04 PM PDT · by blam · 21 replies
    BI - Reuters ^ | 10-23-2014 | Will Dunham, Reuters
    Will Dunham October 23, 2014 They lived on a remote dot of land in the middle of the Pacific, 2,300 miles (3,700 km) west of South America and 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from the closest island, erecting huge stone figures that still stare enigmatically from the hillsides. But the ancient Polynesian people who populated Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, were not as isolated as long believed. Scientists who conducted a genetic study, published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology, found these ancient people had significant contact with Native American populations hundreds of years before the first Westerners reached the...
  • New study challenges theories on Easter Island collapse

    12/12/2013 11:08:52 AM PST · by Theoria · 52 replies
    KITV ^ | 10 Dec 2013 | KITV
    Bishop Museum's Dr. Mulrooney conducted 6-year study on Rapa Nui Bishop Museum's assistant anthropologist, Dr. Mara Mulrooney, conducted a six-year study on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, about the island's theoretical civilization collapse. Results from her groundbreaking doctoral dissertation entitled "Continuity or Collapse? Diachronic Settlement and Land Use in Hanga Ho'onu, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)" are outlined in an article published in the December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. This new evidence debunks previous theories that the islanders "self-destructed" before Europeans first visited in 1722. As popularized in Jared Diamond's 2005 book Collapse, Rapa Nui is...
  • No seafood for early Easter Islanders -- they ate rats

    09/27/2013 3:48:08 AM PDT · by Renfield · 22 replies
    NBC News ^ | 9-26-2013 | Owen Jarus
    Chemical analyses of teeth from 41 human skeletons excavated on Easter Island revealed the inhabitants ate rats rather than seafood; Here, Moai statues at Ahu Tongariki on the south-eastern part of the island, where 26 of the skeletons were found. The inhabitants of Easter Island consumed a diet that was lacking in seafood and was, literally, quite ratty. The island, also called Rapa Nui, first settled around A.D. 1200, is famous for its more than 1,000 "walking" Moai statues, most of which originally faced inland. Located in the South Pacific, Rapa Nui is the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth;...
  • Mysterious Easter Island Heads Have Bodies Too

    Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of visitors to the island have been astonished to see that, indeed, Easter Island statues have bodies
  • Did Easter Islanders Mix It Up With South Americans?

    02/08/2012 7:20:56 AM PST · by Theoria · 16 replies · 1+ views
    Science ^ | 06 Feb 2012 | Andrew Lawler
    The scattered islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were settled by seafarers who set out from the eastern coasts and islands of Asia and traveled thousands of kilometers by boat. Meanwhile pre-Columbian South America was populated by people who crossed a now-vanished land bridge far to the north. Did these two groups ever meet in the New World? There's a good chance of that, according to a new study, which finds evidence that Easter Islanders may have reached South America and mixed with the Native Americans already there. University of Oslo immunologist Erik Thorsby first began analyzing the people of...
  • Bodies of Easter Island’s famous heads revealed

    05/14/2012 12:31:31 AM PDT · by bkopto · 73 replies
    AllTop ^ | 5/12/2012 | staff
    The head statuary of Easter Island is instantly recognizable to people all over the world, but who would have guessed that, lurking beneath the soil, these famous mugs also had bodies? The Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative, which is funded by the Archaeological Institute of America, has been excavating two of the enormous figures for the last several years, and have found unique petroglyphs carved on their backs that had been conserved in the soil. Their research has also yielded evidence of how the carvers were paid with food such as tuna and lobster, as well as clues to...
  • How Easter Island's statues walked

    06/21/2012 3:47:03 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Cosmic Log ^ | Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Alan Boyle
    Did Easter Island's famous statues rock, or roll? After doing a little rocking out themselves, researchers say they're sure the natives raised the monumental figures upright, and then rocked them back and forth to "walk" them to their positions. Their findings mesh with a scenario that casts the Polynesian island's natives in the roles of resourceful engineers working with the little that they had on hand, rather than the victims of a self-inflicted environmental catastrophe. "A lot of what people think they know about the island turns out to be not true," Carl Lipo, an archaeologist at California State University...
  • Polynesian paddle fetches nearly $340,000

    04/17/2010 5:10:34 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 18 replies · 669+ views
    upi ^ | April 17, 2010
    ISLE OF WIGHT, England - A 100-year-old wooden paddle used in Polynesian dance ceremonies before becoming a household ornament fetched nearly $340,000 at a British auction. Bidders in London and Brussels quickly upped the price on the paddle after bidding started at just $4,629, The Times of London reported. The ceremonial paddle, known as a rapa, originated on Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific, where performers used the paddles to accentuate movements in dances and ceremonies. Tim Smith of Isle of Wight auctioneers Island Auction Rooms in Shanklin set a guide price of $15,341. "When the money started going up,...
  • British archaeologists solve the mystery of the Easter Island red hats

    09/07/2009 8:49:36 AM PDT · by BGHater · 23 replies · 1,009+ views
    The Daily Mail ^ | 07 Sep 2009 | Sarah Nelson
    A team of British archaeologists has solved the mystery of how the famous statues dotting the landscape of Easter Island acquired their distinctive red hats. Dr Sue Hamilton from University College London and Dr Colin Richards from the University of Manchester believe the hats were constructed in a hidden quarry and then rolled down from the slopes of an ancient volcano. They are the first archaeologists ever to have excavated the Puna Pau quarry on the tiny Pacific island. The team have discovered the mystery behind the red hats worn by the Easter Island statues Around 70 intact giant red...
  • Giant statues give up hat mystery

    09/06/2009 10:54:18 PM PDT · by Wardenclyffe · 27 replies · 1,568+ views
    BBC News ^ | 6 September 2009 | Sudeep Chand
    Archaeologists have solved an ancient mystery surrounding the famous Easter Island statues. At 2,500 miles off the coast of Chile, the island is the world's most remote place inhabited by people. Up to 1,000 years ago, the islanders started putting giant red hats on the statues. The research team, from the University of Manchester and University College London, think the hats were rolled down from an ancient volcano. Dr Colin Richards and Dr Sue Hamilton are the first British archaeologists to work on the island since 1914. They pieced together a series of clues to discover how the statues got...
  • Rethinking the Fall of Easter Island [ Jared Diamond refuted ]

    08/11/2006 11:51:59 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies · 394+ views
    American Scientist ^ | September-October 2006 (issue) | Terry L. Hunt
    The oldest dates were only about 800 years old, implying that occupation began around 1200 A.D. The dates from layers closer to the surface were progressively younger, which is inconsistent with the possibility that somehow our samples were contaminated with modern carbon. There was really no way to explain these numbers, at least not within the conventional model of Rapa Nui's development... Lipo and I took a closer look at the evidence for earlier human settlement. We evaluated 45 previously published radiocarbon dates indicating human presence more than 750 years ago using a "chronometric hygiene" protocol. We rejected dates measured...
  • Did humans devastate Easter Island on arrival?

    03/10/2006 4:17:24 AM PST · by S0122017 · 27 replies · 482+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 9 March 2006 | Bob Holmes
    Did humans devastate Easter Island on arrival? 19:00 09 March 2006 Bob Holmes Early settlers to the remote Easter Island stripped the island’s natural resources to erect towering stone statues (Image: Terry L Hunt)Related Articles What caused the collapse of Easter Island civilisation? 25 September 2004 Last of the great migrations 24 April 2004 Histories: Carteret's South Sea trouble 11 February 2006 The first humans may have arrived on Easter Island several centuries later than previously supposed, suggests a new study. If so, these Polynesian settlers must have begun destroying the island's forests almost immediately after their arrival. Easter Island...
  • Did Humans Decimate Easter Island On Arrival?

    03/09/2006 5:21:22 PM PST · by blam · 47 replies · 1,273+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3-9-2006 | Bob Holmes
    Did humans decimate Easter Island on arrival? 19:00 09 March 2006 news service Bob Holmes Early settlers to the remote Easter Island stripped the island’s natural resources to erect towering stone statues (Image: Terry L Hunt)The first humans may have arrived on Easter Island several centuries later than previously supposed, suggests a new study. If so, these Polynesian settlers must have begun destroying the island's forests almost immediately after their arrival. Easter Island has often been cited as the classic example of a human-induced ecological catastrophe. The island – one of the most remote places on Earth – was...
  • Groundbreaking Research Sheds Light On Ancient Mystery (Easter Island)

    09/19/2005 4:36:30 PM PDT · by blam · 62 replies · 2,079+ views
    Rochester Instityute Of Technology ^ | 8-31-2005 | Will Dube
    Release Date: Aug. 31, 2005 Contact: Will Dube (585) 475-4954 or Groundbreaking Research Sheds Light on Ancient Mystery RIT researcher creates new population model to help predict and prevent societal collapse A researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology is unraveling a mystery surrounding Easter Island. William Basener, assistant professor of mathematics, has created the first mathematical formula to accurately model the island’s monumental societal collapse. Between 1200 and 1500 A.D., the small, remote island, 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, was inhabited by over 10,000 people and had a relatively sophisticated and technologically advanced society. During this time,...
  • The Ends of the World as We Know Them

    12/31/2004 10:17:55 PM PST · by neverdem · 71 replies · 4,028+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 1, 2005 | JARED DIAMOND
    GUEST OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR Los Angeles — NEW Year's weekend traditionally is a time for us to reflect, and to make resolutions based on our reflections. In this fresh year, with the United States seemingly at the height of its power and at the start of a new presidential term, Americans are increasingly concerned and divided about where we are going. How long can America remain ascendant? Where will we stand 10 years from now, or even next year? Such questions seem especially appropriate this year. History warns us that when once-powerful societies collapse, they tend to do so quickly and...
  • Easter Island, Fools' Paradise

    11/21/2004 12:48:29 PM PST · by blam · 91 replies · 4,300+ views
    TLS ^ | 11-18-2004 | Roland Wright
    Easter island, fools' paradise Ronald Wright 18 November 2004 The greatest wonder of the ancient world is how recent it all is. No city or monument is much more than 5,000 years old. Only about seventy lifetimes, of seventy years, have been lived end to end since civilization began. Its entire run occupies a mere 0.002 per cent of the nearly 3 million years since our first ancestor sharpened a stone. The progress of “man the hunter” during the Old Stone Age, or Palaeolithic – his perfection of weapons and techniques – led directly to the end of hunting as...
  • Experts Work To Save Easter Island Statues (More)

    03/07/2004 4:38:46 PM PST · by blam · 23 replies · 1,087+ views
    Scotsman ^ | 3-7-2004 | Clare Chapman
    Experts work to save Easter Island statues CLARE CHAPMAN A TEAM of conservationists is working on a ‘miracle cure’ to save the famous giant heads of Easter Island from crumbling away. Experts from Germany are investigating the use of a chemical to stabilise the stone monoliths, which have become severely eroded. The Moai stone heads with their famous long faces and large noses were carved out of rock that was originally volcanic ash by the island’s inhabitants between 1100 and 1650. They are one of the main sources of income for the island, known as Rapa Nui, drawing in more...
  • German Firm Hired To Save Easter Island Sculptures

    11/05/2003 2:33:17 PM PST · by blam · 17 replies · 254+ views
    Reuters/Yahoo ^ | 11-5-2003
    German Firm Hired to Save Easter Island Sculptures Tue Nov 4,12:24 PM ET BERLIN (Reuters) - UNESCO has awarded a German firm contract to preserve the world-famous but decaying Moai head sculptures on Easter Island, which are suffering the effects of the weather, tourism and past restoration attempts. Stefan Maar, founder of Berlin-based Maar Denkmalpflege GmbH said Tuesday his company planned to begin treating the statues with chemicals in early 2005 in a project estimated to cost about 10 million euros ($11.5 million). "Something has to be done," Maar told Reuters. "But with over 1,000 figures, it is a really...
  • Easter Island Drug Raises Cognition Throughout Life Span in Mice

    06/29/2012 7:38:03 PM PDT · by aimhigh · 24 replies ^ | 06/29/2012 | ScienceDaily
    Cognitive skills such as learning and memory diminish with age in everyone, and the drop-off is steepest in Alzheimer's disease. Texas scientists seeking a way to prevent this decline reported exciting results this week with a drug that has Polynesian roots. Rapamycin, a bacterial product first isolated from soil on Easter Island, enhanced learning and memory in young mice and improved these faculties in old mice, the study showed.
  • July 11 Total Eclipse Among the Mysterious Moai

    07/10/2010 3:57:06 PM PDT · by combat_boots · 12 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 9 July 2010 | Written by Nancy Atkinson
    A group of astronomers are now on the mysterious Easter Island, one of the few solid places to stand on Earth where a total solar eclipse will be visible on July 11, 2010. The majority of the eclipse's path is over the ocean, so this will be one of the least observed eclipses ever. "This is one of the most interesting things that is possible for anyone on Earth to see in one of the most interesting places on the Earth that people can go," said Jay Pasachoff from Williams College, who is the Chair of the International Astronomical Union's...
  • The Other Mystery of Easter Island[Language of Rongorongo]

    12/27/2006 10:27:03 PM PST · by FLOutdoorsman · 51 replies · 2,926+ views
    Dam Interesting ^ | 26 Dec 2006 | Stephanie Benson
    Easter Island is branded into popular consciousness as the home of the mysterious and towering moai statues, but these are not the only curiosity the South Pacific island holds. Where the moai are fascinating for their unknown purpose and mysterious craftsmen, the island's lost language of Rongorongo is equally perplexing. The unique written language seems to have appeared suddenly in the 1700s, but within just two centuries it was exiled to obscurity. Known as Rapa Nui to the island's inhabitants, Rongorongo is a writing system comprised of pictographs. It has been found carved into many oblong wooden tablets and other...
  • Rapanui (Easter Island) Under Fire By Chilean Troops

    12/05/2010 9:06:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | Saturday, December 4, 2010 | Taken from a press release
    Early this morning armed Chilean troops opened fire with rubber bullets on Rapanui civilians. The police started shooting and tear gassing as the Rapanui people gathered in solidarity... As the Chilean troops charged towards the fleeing Rapanui, ClaudioTuki was hit in the forehead and Enrique Tepano was shot in the face. Santi Hitorangi was shot in his right leg from behind, and as he attempted to continue to film the situation he was shot twice in the back... The Rapanui people are determined not to be removed from the land that they feel is rightfully theirs and try to defend...
  • Goshen man fears fate of loved ones on Easter Island

    08/10/2010 5:44:04 AM PDT · by DJ MacWoW · 29 replies · 1+ views
    Times Herald Record ^ | 08/10/10 | John Sullivan
    Goshen — Minutes before Chilean special forces were to swarm government and private buildings held by indigenous Easter Islanders on Monday, a cell phone in Goshen crackled with a voice updating a local resident on the events a continent away. Holding that phone was Santi Hitorangi, one of a handful of Rapanui people living abroad. The farmer, sculptor and filmmaker, who has lived in Goshen with his wife, son and daughter for three years, found himself thrust into an international struggle for his people's rights.
  • Easter Island discovery sends archaeologists back to drawing board

    05/12/2010 2:03:18 PM PDT · by decimon · 87 replies · 2,278+ views
    University of Manchester ^ | May 12, 2010 | Unknown
    Archaeologists have disproved the fifty-year-old theory underpinning our understanding of how the famous stone statues were moved around Easter IslandArchaeologists have disproved the fifty-year-old theory underpinning our understanding of how the famous stone statues were moved around Easter Island. Fieldwork led by researchers at University College London and The University of Manchester, has shown the remote Pacific island's ancient road system was primarily ceremonial and not solely built for transportation of the figures. A complex network of roads up to 800-years-old crisscross the Island between the hat and statue quarries and the coastal areas. Laying alongside the roads are dozens...