A bus of tourists drove up the road and instead of heading toward
Tongariki, the largest ahu on the island, the tourists moved in the
opposite direction, toward the replica moai that is about to be lifted
into an upright position. It's another day out at the ahu, and now the
experimental site has become a regular tourist attraction. Buses full of
tourists come to witness experimental archaeology in action.
I've tried to use text to describe what transpired today, and all I can
come up with are words that don't seem to explain anything, except my
own disability to put into words very simple mechanical procedures.
Here's my first attempt at writing about the raising of the red scoria
pukao onto the head of the moai:
"Using a fixed anchor point and a running line, a rope was slung around
the cylindrically-shaped pukao. By pulling on the top rope, the pukao
slowly rolled forward as the distance was shortened between the pukao
and the destination point above the head of the moai."
As you can see, words may not be the best way to communicate this scene,
so Jan Van Tilburg has offered his expert drawing skills to illustrate
what happened today. Click here
to see Van Tilburg's four drawings of
the process of raising the moai and pukao, which has taken place over
the past 24 hours.
For the first time since early Rapa Nui history, a pukao is being raised
with a moai, and the team is excited to see if it can be done using only
wood, rope, stones, and human power. Tomorrow is the final day of
raising, and Claudio Cristino feels confident it can be done in the time