ARCHAEOLOGY

Archaeologists excavate Easter Island’s statues

Researchers are excavating some of Easter Island's famous statues, called moai, unearthing the buried secrets of the most remote inhabited island in the world.

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The excavation of this moai, nicknamed "Papa" by Katherin Routledge in 1914, began in spring of 2010. Quarry bedrock is visible in one of the excavation squares and the color variation on the statue's stone surface reflects previous soil levels.
Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

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View of one statue from an excavation trench.

Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

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The back of a partially excavated statue.
Easter Island Statue Project / /Colin Montgomery

Easter Island Statue Project museum

Laser scannning Hoa Hakananaia at the British Museum.
Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project nearlythere

Nearly there.
Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project unexcavated

Christian Fischer, Mónica Bahamondez P. and Jo Anne Van Tilburg in the Rano Raraku quarry with unexcavated statues 'Mama' and 'Papa.
Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project petrographs

The statue backs are covered in petroglyphs (pictogram engravings).
Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project samples

Collecting samples of the various rock tools used to carve the statues on Easter Island.

Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project front

The front view of one the more than 1,000 statues that dot the island, carved over an 800 year span.

Easter Island Statue Project / J. Van Tilburg

Easter Island Statue Project progress

Excavation progress on the statues have been steady.
Easter Island Statue Project / Jo Anne Van Tilburg / Vaiheri Tuki Haoa

Archaeologists excavate Easter Island’s statues

Researchers are excavating some of Easter Island's famous statues, called moai, unearthing the buried secrets of the most remote inhabited island in the world.

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