The Moai statues are located on Easter Island, or ‘Rapa Nui’ and are believed to have been carved between 1250 to 1500 AD. There are approximately 900 known Moai statues, the tallest being 21 meters high, weighing over 160 tonnes.

Many archaeologists suggest that “[the] statues were thus symbols of authority and power, both religious and political. But they were not only symbols. To the people who erected and used them, they were actual repositories of sacred spirit. Carved stone and wooden objects in ancient Polynesian religions, when properly fashioned and ritually prepared, were believed to be charged by a magical spiritual essence called mana.

It is not known exactly how the moai were moved across the island. Earlier researchers assumed that the process required human energy, ropes, and possibly wooden sledges (sleds) and/or rollers, as well as levelled tracks across the island. Another theory suggests that the moai were placed on top of logs and were rolled to their destinations.

Researchers have long puzzled over why the huge statues were placed where they are. However, a new study says the people of Rapa Nui, as the island is called in the local language, positioned them near sources of humanity’s most vital resource: fresh water.


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