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Easter Island

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Carolyn Silver
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2007, 03:07:50 am »



Mazière wondered why the lower statues on the outer slope were covered with rubble and earth, while for over 60 m above them lay other figures, free from the rock and ready to leave their hollows.

Either the men had begun by cutting into the cliff at the top and had brought the statues down the slope, in which case the lower statues were inexplicable. Or they had started at the bottom, in which case why had they not taken away the statues that we had just discovered, why was each not taken away as it was finished and ready to go?
    A more thorough analysis showed us that all the statues carved at the top of the cliff – and this applied to the whole rim – were far less carefully made and above all were cut out of a distinctly poorer stone. They belonged to the second period.
    This tended to strengthen our opinion: there had indeed been two periods, two migrations, and in between the quarry had been abandoned for years and years. During this time erosion covered the first series of overlapping statues that began at the foot of the cliff. The second migration, seeing the standing giants, took over that splendid art, changing and debasing it. The newcomers built the ahu, and by a curious anomaly they set up these adopted gods on their platforms, in the Polynesian manner.3

But perhaps there have been more than just two migrations and two periods of carving. And why assume that the Polynesians were the first inhabitants of Oceania to set up statues on platforms?

If the statues at Rano Raraku were carved at different periods, then the fact that unfinished statues lie all over the inner and outer slopes would mean that work came to a sudden end more than once, indicating that history does indeed repeat itself.


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