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Easter Island

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Author Topic: Easter Island  (Read 711 times)
Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2007, 02:35:38 am »

Fig 6.10 The seawall of Ahu Nau Nau shows at least six stages of construction.
Note the inclusion of a moai head.

During Heyerdahl’s expedition in 1987, excavations were carried out on the landward side of Ahu Nau Nau. A neatly fitted pavement made of boulders was found 7 ft below the surface. Three feet below it, a layer of soil full of human refuse was found, which was radiocarbon dated to AD 850. Trenches sunk along the landward side also uncovered a beautiful wall of megalithic slabs, perfectly hewn and fitted. According to Heyerdahl, this type of masonry

was unmistakably an Early Period product that had been buried in silt before the Middle Period ahu was erected. A closer inspection proved that these fine slabs had been part of an even older structure originally existing elsewhere, one that had been dismantled by man or destroyed by nature. The slabs had been dragged to this place from another site, and although perfectly polished and joined in the original wall, they had then been reworked to fit them together according to another plan.

This discovery demolished the popular theory that such walls had appeared at a late stage on Easter Island and represented the high peak of local evolution due to the lack of timber. This buried wall was clearly older than the Middle Period walls visible above ground. Nothing like it has been found on a single island in the whole of Polynesia, but it is typical of the megalithic walls of South America.7

Heyerdahl adds that the widespread belief that the splendid walls in Peru date from the late Inca period has been disproved, and that the Incas learned the craft of masonry from their predecessors in Tiahuanaco. Excavations of the earth-covered pyramidal mound at Akapana in Tiahuanaco have shown it to be a terraced pyramid from long before the age of the Incas. It is faced with accurately hewn and artistically jointed blocks, just as on Easter Island.

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