Archaeologist digs deep to reveal Easter Island torsos

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PostTue Jun 05, 2012 10:42 pm » by Newearthman


http://today.ucla.edu/portal/ut/easter- ... 34519.aspx

There’s more to the world-famous heads of Easter Island than meets the eye.

Ask archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg, a research associate at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and director of its Rock Art Archive, who has been lecturing and writing about Easter Island’s iconic monolithic statues for years.
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As the director of the Easter Island Statue Project — the longest-continuous collaborative artifact inventory ever conducted on the Polynesian island that belongs to Chile — Van Tilburg has opened a window on one of the greatest achievements of Pacific prehistory on one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world.
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From her studies of these two statues, the archaeologist is convinced that the statues were partially buried naturally by eroded dirt, not by the Rapa Nui. She found approximately the same amount of dirt that partially buried the statues also filled the quarries located near where they stood.

The excavations also revealed other facts about these megaton behemoths.

While petroglyphs have been seen before on parts of the statues that were above ground, Van Tilburg’s excavations extended down to the base of the statues and revealed etched petroglyphs on the backs of the figures. She was especially intrigued by the repetition of crescent shapes that represent Polynesian canoes, she said.
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"What we found underneath the base of one of the statues was a signature stone, a basalt rock with an incised drawing of a crescent, or canoe motif" she said. Van Tilburg believes this was the mark of its carver or the family group to which the carver belonged.

"Over time, it seems, more of these canoes were etched onto the statue in a constant repetition of identity reasserting who they were. As the community lost a sense of identity over time, perhaps they wanted to mark these statues as their own," she said.

Between the two statues, the diggers also uncovered evidence of the technology that was used to move the large statues upright — one of the statues Van Tilburg worked on stood 21 feet (about two stories ) tall.

"We found a round, deep post hole into which the Rapa Nui had inserted a tree trunk," she said. Van Tilburg said ropes were attached to the tree trunk and to the partially carved statue. "We found a rope guide that was actually carved into the bedrock near the statue." The Rapa Nui then used the tree trunk to raise the statue upright. Before the statue was upright, they carved its front. Once it stood erect, they finished the back, Van Tilburg explained.

The excavation team also found about 800 grams of natural red pigment — nearly two pounds — in the burial hole, along with a human burial. Van Tilburg believes the pigment was used to paint the statues, just as the Rapa Nui used pigment to paint their bodies for certain ceremonies. The unusually large amount of pigment found indicates that it might have been used by a priest or chief, perhaps as part of mortuary practice, she said. Human bones were found throughout the dig, indicating that people buried their dead around the statues.
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PostTue Jun 05, 2012 11:02 pm » by Flecktarn


the carving on the body could represent tattoos ,such as the tribal types of today ,
i find them fascinating :flop: :flop:
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PostTue Jun 05, 2012 11:03 pm » by Evildweeb


I think we had a lengthy discussion about this a month or so ago.

But ain't it funny after all these years, FINALLY someone took a peek?

Thanks Archeology, thanks for being on top the game......lol


:headscratch: :headscratch: :headscratch: :headscratch: :headscratch:
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PostTue Jun 05, 2012 11:15 pm » by Newearthman


UCLA Today

May 30, 2012 By Cynthia Lee

It's a recent article so I thought I would post it just to keep the interest up and turn on new people.
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PostTue Jun 05, 2012 11:16 pm » by Evildweeb


Newearthman wrote:UCLA Today

May 30, 2012 By Cynthia Lee

It's a recent article so I thought I would post it just to keep the interest up and turn on new people.


Good find NEM, keep it up! :flop:



cheers

:cheers:
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PostWed Jun 06, 2012 12:09 am » by The57ironman


Evildweeb wrote:


Thanks Archeology, thanks for being on top the game......lol



.


...yeah , right..?.... :lol:

nobody cared until it was all over the internet for the past 10 years , i guess...

...kudos to whoever spent some dough... :pray:



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PostSat Jun 09, 2012 7:00 am » by TorJohnson


Okay, so they have bodies but there are still so many questions.

Clearly they weren't individually buried (the land is all even around them, as if they sank into the ground) so, just how old are these statues? And if they were actually buried, why only up to the neck? Is the island volcano currently active and if so, could lava flow cause this kind of mass burial? Why carve all the detail in the stone only to bury it/let it stay buried? Why use up ALL the trees on the island to even make these things and keep making them even though the civilization fell into cannibalism and was (almost) wiped out? Is Rongorongo still undeciphered? Where are all the heads facing (they are all facing inland apparently) and why hasn't anyone search for the spot where all the lines of sight cross and dig?

Fucking Easter Island.
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