I absolutely LOVE ancient history and archaeology. This story is fascinating to me!

The Easter Island statues were carved around 1250-1500 A.D. As excavators began to uncover the bodies of the statues, which had been completely buried, petroglyphs were discovered on several of the statues. The petroglyphs could reveal more about the Rapa Nui people who carved over 1000 statues that are scattered all over the island.  If the bodies had not been buried by natural sedimentation or on purpose (no one’s really sure yet), the glyphs may not have been so well-preserved. Only about 100 of the statues bear the markings. Some people have speculated that the giant statues were made by an alien civilization, but I’m going to hazard a guess that the Rapa Nui people made them. 

4 thoughts on “Easter Island Statues Have Petroglyphs on Buried Bodies

  1. Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” has an entire chapter dedicated to Easter Island and how its inhabitants managed to build those massive statues. More importantly, Diamond discusses how the population practically depleted the island’s natural resources, starting with the wine palm trees – the largest species of palm tree on Earth. They can grow up to heights of 70 feet. But, radiocarbon dating of petrified roots discovered on Easter Island showed that some wine palms probably grew up to heights of 100 feet! It’s amazing that people made it to Easter Island in the first place; since it’s one of the most remote places on Earth. At its closest point, the South American mainland is 2,300 miles away. Travel time from Chile is about 5 hours – by plane. Based on language studies and radiocarbon dating of other resources, some scientists believe humans first arrived on Easter Island as early as A.D. 300. Others put first arrivals closer to A.D. 600, while others push it back to A.D. 900. Regardless, it’s a fascinating historical mystery that deserves closer study.

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