Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
and the mysterious Moais Figures
Most people will have heard the term Easter Island. What many know are the well-known figures made from tuff, which are located there – these, like the island, have a very long history.
The Easter Island is properly called Rapa Nui and is the most remote settled island in the world. It is approximately 3,800 km away from mainland Chile and about 4,000 km from Tahiti and so it is quite a lonely isle in the middle in the Pacific Ocean. The Easter Island originally developed from three volcanoes: Approximately 2.5 million years ago the Poike volcano broke through the Pacific’s bottom, one million years later the Rano Kau volcano and finally approximately 240,000 years ago the Terevaka volcano. Lore states that the island before its settlement was littered with millions of palm trees. At present approximately 3,800 people live on the island, the majority live in the capital of Hanga Roa, which is also at the same time the only real settlement.
Rapa Nui – Easter island
Fantastic sandy beaches full of palms as well as volcanoes and many untouched small woods distinguish the island just as its landmark, the world-famous Moais. These stone statues today are the contemporary witnesses of a culture, which still puzzle researchers even in the 21st century. Since the island was discovered in the year 1722, experts ask themselves the question, how the island had become populated at all, because it lies so far away from the mainland. Mysterious rock reliefs, enormous stone figures and mural paintings bear witness of a culture, which obviously completely developed without external influences of another civilization.
A strength place in the middle in the Pacific
Likewise inexplicably is, how the advanced culture, of which the Moais also are a part of, has developed at all. Some researchers are convinced that this culture gradually developed alone in isolation. Others are of the opinion that settlers visited the island and established themselves there.
The exact age of the mysterious stone figures, cannot be proven with absolute certainty. Archeologists however assume that Easter Island was settled approximately between the 4th or 5th century after the birth of Christ as a strength place and that the statues were a leisure time activity of the natives. The Moais with angular and/or round heads and deep eye sockets are attributed to the middle creative period and are believed to have been created between the 11th and 13nd Century after Christ, while all other figures on the Easter Island are supposed to be more modern sculptures from the 16th century.