Showing posts with label easter island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easter island. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Easter Island Moai Statues: What is Carved on the Back?

We’ve all seen the incredible Moai statues, created to honour the ancestors of Easter Island, known locally as Rapa Nui, between 1000 and 1650 AD.

There are around 900 statues on the island, some weighing up to 86 tons and some 10 metres high. Most are carved from volcanic tuff, which is basically compressed volcanic ash and compared to volcanic rock like basalt, it is easier to carve with stone tools.

Some moai statues though, a minority, are made of basalt, such as the example on display in the British museum. Only 13 moai are made of this harder rock type and they tend to be the earliest examples. The one in the British Museum dates to between 1000 and 1200 AD.

Something not everybody knows though, is that the backs of some of the statues are also intricately carved. Interestingly, these carvings are not considered to be original features. Sometimes the motifs are carved in low relief, sometimes incised, but what are these strange images actually showing? Watch the video to find out.