When Statutes Once Walked...
How were these statues "walked" to their final resting places? Did natives use spiritual power to "move" the statues? It is a question that has puzzled archeologists and scientists and we may now have some clues as to how the natives managed it nearly 13 centuries ago!
It is thought that the trees on the island may have been destroyed for the construction and transportation of the Moai statues across the island. Some think that battles between two native tribes that used fires may have destroyed the vegetation and food on the island, causing the islanders to die out.
The Moai “Walk”
Believe it or not -- over 887 statues (Maois) have been found all over the island and are believed to have been between 1100 to 1680 AD. The tallest Moai is nearly 33 feet tall and weighs 86 tons. Craftsmen used hand chisels and made the various parts of the statues from different types of volcanic stone found on the island including Basalt, Obsidian, Red Scoria and Tuff.
They successfully demonstrated moving a 5 ton statue nearly 100 yards, with 18 people, 3 strong ropes and some practice. According to them, Moais were "engineered to move” in a rocking motion, using manpower and rope. You see, every Moai had a pot-belly (big stomach) which made it easier to tilt the statue forward. Further, the bases of the Moai were heavy and D-shaped, making it easier to move the Moai from side to side.
What was the significance of the statues for the natives? Why were they moved? Could there have been other ways of moving the statues than the new 'walking' theory? These are all unanswered questions still waiting to be explored…
Courtesy: Wikipedia, National Geographic