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Easter Island

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Author Topic: Easter Island  (Read 735 times)
Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2007, 03:05:22 am »

Fig. 8.2 One of the early, purest statues on the outer slope of Rano Raraku.

Francis Mazičre, too, distinguishes between two periods of sculpture. He believed that many of the statues at Rano Raraku, including nearly all the raised statues at the foot of the volcano, belonged to the first period. During a huge excavation at Rano Raraku, he uncovered two 10-m statues, undamaged by erosion, which were completely white and very highly polished. The wings of the nose and the trace of the muscles in the upper lip were handled with striking delicacy and technical skill. Their elegant hands, joined at the height of the navel, in a meditating posture, ended in prodigiously long, tapering nails. The top of their heads was very narrow and clearly not designed for a cylindrical red hat. More such statues were subsequently uncovered.

There are also marked differences among the Rano Raraku statues themselves: in general, the statues inside the crater are smaller and less carefully made than those on the outer slope. Mazičre wrote that on the outer slope ‘the great majority of the sculptures are very highly finished, whereas those on the crater side are decadent – much coarser: they are the work of another set of people altogether’. He said that the statues on the inner side of the volcano were of ‘commonplace technique’ and ‘commonplace stone’ – ‘debased copies’ of the outer-slope statues.2

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