Stone idols are the most recognizable landmark of Easter Island. Their secrets still intrigue the whole world. The multi-toned, skillfully executed sculptures are in no way combined with the half-naked savages who inhabited the island and make one think that the idols were erected by an extinct highly developed civilization.
What is known about stone idols after decades of research? Who built them, and what function did they perform?
The mysterious Rapanuys, armed with primitive spears and fond of cannibalism, became known in 1722 through the efforts of the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeven.
In the 18th century, scientists were convinced that somewhere in the Pacific Ocean there should still be an undiscovered continent, which served as a kind of counterbalance to Eurasia. When it was not possible to find the mainland, and instead of it Easter Island was opened, the opinion arose that this was a fragment of a sunken continent.
The hypothesis was confirmed by huge statues and an unusual Rapanui
«Descendants of the Atlanteans!» — Scientists of the New Time enthusiastically declared. «Polynesians» — modern researchers ascertained disappointedly.
It turned out that the outlines of Easter
Once the island was covered with dense forests and surrounded by greenery. The Rapanui people flourished and multiplied. Agriculture and fishing developed, writing and a unique culture were invented.
Stone statues, Moai, were carved with primitive tools from rock monoliths at the foot of the Rano Raraku volcano, and then pulled apart around the entire perimeter of the island. Some of the sculptures reached 12 meters in height and weighed up to 18 tons.
By dragging and rolling, the Polynesians dragged them several kilometers to specially prepared sites — Ahu. Total aborigines
Everything came to an end when the Rapanui, expanding agricultural land and the fleet, cut down the entire forest
Civilization fell into decay. Hunger and resource wars have reduced numbers and led to population degradation. By 1600, the proud Rapanui turned into savages and stopped carving Moai. Dozens of unfinished idols remained standing in the quarries.
It is difficult to imagine how much labor and time it took to hollow out at least one multi-ton statue with a stone hammer. It is even more difficult to imagine how they were then dragged to the place of installation with the help of ropes, blocks and wooden flooring.
Probably, the goal that prompted the Rapanui people to do this justified all the efforts expended. And so it was. After all, the main thing is faith and a positive attitude.
The leaders were buried under the first statues. Moai were a kind of monuments to great people who, among other things, could increase the harvest, drive away evil spirits and, in general, ensure the well-being of the people.
In addition, the plantings were fertilized with crumbs from the quarries. Modern analyzes have shown that local rocks are rich in phosphorus, potassium, manganese and calcium. The Rapanui people did not know about this, but the minerals contained in the statues really ensured a good harvest.