Easter Island

By: Meaghan Lewis

What/Where is Easter Island?

Easter Island is a remote volcanic island. It covers 64 square miles in the South Pacific Ocean. The island is located 2,300 miles away from Chile's west coast and 2,500 miles away from Tahiti's east coast.

Mystery of the Moai

It is unclear why the Easter Islanders,Rapa Nui people, turned to statue construction on such a big scale. Moais are the gigantic, carved, stone faces that are found on Easter Island. Nobody knows the reason why the Rapa Nui people created the moai. Some researchers believe that the moai were created to honor ancestors, chiefs, or other important people of the Rapa Nui. The moai date back many centuries, and they reveal that the creators are wonderful craftsmen and engineers.

The moai are huge and heavy, and it is a mystery to how the moai were put into place. Some people believe that the Rapa Nui people tied ropes around the statue and moved them into place with a walking motion. Others believe that the Rapa Nui straped the statues to tree trunks and draged them on the grond, or the Rapa Nui rolled the moai on sleds. There are many more theories, but it is still a mystery to how the Rapa Nui moved the humongous statues into place.

What happened to the Rapa Nui?

Many scientists don't know why the Rapa Nui civilization collapsed. Many of the scientists argue about the reason on why they died out. Some believe that they used up all of the natural resources on the island and eventually died. Other scientists believe that they died from diseases and pestilence, or the Rapa Nui died from different variations in climate around the island. We still dont know why the civilization died out.

Modern Research

New DNA evidence confirms that the inhabitants of Easter Island made contact with the inhabitants of South America. Scientists have proved that the Rapa Nui have made the trip between Easter Island and South America several times. They have also confirmed that the Rapa Nui went back to Easter Island after they went to Chile or Peru, but they also took some natives of South America with them.

Citations

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