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Secrets of Easter Island


Photo of Rano Roraku Rano Raraku


The main quarry for Easter Island's statues, this volcanic crater is a virtual moai graveyard. The stone-faced giants lie in various states of production. Some are half carved, many are broken, and many seem to have been abandoned in mid-transport. Most remarkably, at the base of the quarry, moai stand half buried in the slope—up to their chins and noses—from years of erosion. To some observers the quarry looks like a graveyard of stone giants. It's as if the production of moai was abruptly abandoned, leaving us a frozen snapshot in time so we can look closely at exactly how the moai were carved out of the available rock. This quarry and the nearby transport road is the staging area on which many speculators base their theories on how the moai were transported. Archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg suggests that the moai production in Rano Raraku quarry probably started and stopped often over the years, possibly due to periodic resource shortages or to political disagreements.

Photo of Rano Roraku Photo of Rano Roraku

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Inside Ranu Raraku Inside Rano Raraku QTVR


Rim of Ranu Raraku Rano Raraku Rim QTVR


Photo of Ranu Raraku Moai Rano Raraku Moai QTVR 1


Photo of Ranu Raraku Moai Rano Raraku Moai QTVR 2


Photo of Ranu Raraku Moai Rano Raraku Moai QTVR 3
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Photo of Ranu Raraku Moai Rano Raraku Moai QTVR 4


Ahu Akivi | Ahu Tahai | Ahu Tongariki | Ahu Vinapu | Anakena Beach
Orongo | Paro | Hanga Roa | Rano Raraku | Terevaka




Photos: (1-5) Liesl Clark; (6-9) UCLA Institute of Archaeology

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