Did you know the Easter Island heads have bodies too?

Easter Island’s incredible stone heads are well known, but the sculptures have had torsos, well buried underground.

As with many things on Earth, time took its toll on the statues and buried them in sediment and rock, hiding and preserving the torsos of the Easter figures. A team of archaeologists at UCLA developed the Easter Island Statue Project to better study and preserve the artifacts. Through this work, the team excavated several of the heads to reveal the underlying torso and body.

In total, the team documented and studied nearly 1,000 statues on the small Pacific island. The project spanned nine years where the team determined to the best of their ability the meaning, function and history of each individual statue.

Photo: Cotsen Institute of Archeology, UCLA
Photo: Easter Island Statue Project

“The reason people think they are [only] heads is there are about 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues,” Van Tilburg, who is also a fellow at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told Life’s Little Mysteries. “This suggested to people who had not seen photos of [other unearthed statues on the island] that they are heads only.”

In fact, archaeologists have studied the statues on the island for about a century, and have been aware of the torsos beneath the statues’ heads since the earliest excavations in 1914. (source)

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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