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Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Easter Island," originally broadcast on February 15, 2000. The film, which is a part of the NOVA series Secrets of Lost Empires, showcases the efforts of a team of archeologists, engineers, and other experts to transport an Easter Island moai, or carved stone monolith, overland and successfully raise it onto a pedestal. Here's what you'll find online:
  • Vince Lee's Uphill Battle
    In a flash of insight on Easter Island, architect and NOVA team member Vincent Lee discovered a way to move and rotate a moai in extremely tight quarters, such as the small stone platform on which the islanders erected the monoliths. Here's his story.

  • NOVA Moves a Megalith
    Click through this online slide presentation to follow the nail-biting work of the NOVA team as it yanks, levers, and otherwise coaxes a concrete moai up a hill and onto its pedestal.

  • How Big Were They? (Hot Science)
    How many seven-ton elephants would it take to equal the weight of the largest Easter Island moai? As you try to find out in this game, be careful not to smash the moai.

  • Move the Moai (Hot Science)
    Your task: Transport a moai across the island to join others already standing on a platform. Your tools: Palm trees to use as rollers, sweet potatoes to grease the track, workers whose energy drains unless you feed them, and more. Good luck!

  • Explore Easter Island
    Using a detailed online map as your guide, lead yourself on a self-guided exploration of this most mysterious of Pacific islands. Includes QuickTime VRs and panoramic and still photos.

  • Secrets of Easter Island
    This NOVA/PBS Online Adventure chronicled the NOVA team's struggle to raise a 10-ton moai on Easter Island in March-April 1998. Dispatches from the field, QuickTime VRs, and more.
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.

Photo: Brenden Kootsey

Vince Lee's Uphill Battle | NOVA Moves a Megalith | How Big Were They?
Move the Moai | Explore Easter Island | Secrets of Easter Island | Resources | Transcript

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