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Easter Island Heads Have Hidden Bodies

Image: Easter Island Heads Have Hidden Bodies

(Screengrab of Twitter post/@ForbesTech)

By    |   Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 10:49 AM

The Easter Island heads famously poking out from the Polynesian island have hidden bodies, archaeologists confirmed while excavating several of the relics as part of a conservation project.

The Easter Island Statue Project was initiated in 1982 by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, a research associate at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

Over the past decade, she and a group of residents have been surveying, documenting and conducting excavations at the site on Rapa Nui, the island's actual name.

During this time, UCLA noted an interesting discovery made by the team.

“After spending four months over the last two years excavating two of the statues and posting the results of their digs on the project’s website, Van Tilburg was surprised to discover that a large segment of the general public hadn’t realized that what they knew only as the Easter Island ‘heads’ actually had bodies,” a UCLA news release said.

Two ‘heads’ were actually standing figures that had slowly been buried by dirt and debris over the years.

Forbes noted that almost 1, 000 statues on the island were studied before the two heads were selected for excavation.

Van Tilburg said she was blindsided by the discovery.

“Now I quite understand it, because most of the photographs that are widely available on the internet, and certainly in books, deal only with the very photogenic statues that are located on the slopes of the quarry in which they were carved."

According to UCLA, the statues measured up to 21 feet.

During excavations, archaeologists discovered a possible technology used to get the statues upright, solving another Easter Island mystery.

"We found a round, deep post hole into which the Rapa Nui had inserted a tree trunk," said Van Tilburg.

"We found a rope guide that was actually carved into the bedrock near the statue," and that is what may have been used to stand up the statue.

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The Easter Island heads famously poking out from the Polynesian island have hidden bodies, archaeologists confirmed while excavating several of the relics as part of a conservation project.
easter island, heads, hidden, bodies
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2017-49-27
Thursday, 27 Jul 2017 10:49 AM
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