Easter Island Archaeology Project Digs Up Island’s Secrets

The first methodical investigation of the statues at Rapa Nui, which numerous think of as straightforward heads, reveals the total figures buried over centuries by natural forces.Easter Island Statue Project / Jo Anne Van Tilburg

New pictures reveal what lies beneath the surface of Easter Island, one of the most remote areas in the world — the carved bodies of the island’s 887 famous guardians.

Most men and women believe of the 63-square-mile Pacific island’s silent stone sentinels as basic heads. But the heads all have bodies — and a backstory that is only now being pieced together, explained Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project.

“Those statues which are the most photographed are standing in the quarry. They’re buried up to mid-torso level. So it’s understandable that the common public didn’t have a clue that individuals statues had bodies,” she told FoxNews.com.

Recent belief is that the statues had been carved in between A.D.1100 up until the 1800s, when an influx of Westerners transformed the culture.

Sources and more information:

• Easter Island Statues Have Petroglyphs on Buried Bodies

Reblogged from TheBrabbleRabble: I absolutely LOVE ancient history and archaeology. This story is fascinating to me! The Easter Island statues were carved around 1250-1500 A.D. As excavators began to uncover the bodies of the statues, which had been completely buried, petroglyphs were discovered on several of the statues.

• Easter Island statues have full bodies and ancient petroglyphs

Explorers have long known there was more to the 887 statues on Easter Island – some 2,000 miles west of Chile – than just the statue heads made famous in photographs. When most people think of the renowned monolithic statues, they think of the heads only. But in October 2011, the Easter Island Statue Project began its Season V expedition,…

• Bodies of Easter Island’s famous heads revealed

• Easter Island heads have bodies!?

• Fieldwork on the Islands of Oreor and Babeldaob, Republic of Belau (Palau), Micronesia, 1987