Posted: 11 months ago Quote
New Easter Island moai statue discovered in volcano crater


A new moai – one of Easter Island’s iconic monolithic statues – has been found in the bed of a dry lake in a volcano crater, the Indigenous community that administers the site on the Chilean island has said.

The statue was found on 21 February by a team of scientific volunteers from three Chilean universities who were collaborating on a project to restore the marshland in the crater inside the Rano Raraku volcano.

Binghamton University researchers found that Easter Island’s moai statues were built close to sources of fresh water.

“This moai has great potential for scientific and natural studies – it’s a really unique discovery as it’s the first time that that a moai has been discovered inside a laguna [lake] in a Rano Raraku crater,” the Ma’u Henua Indigenous community said in a statement on Tuesday.

Several moai in that area suffered charring in an October forest fire on the island, which is also known as Rapa Nui and lies 3,500km west of Chile.

“This moai is in the centre of a laguna that began drying up in 2018,” said the director of the Ma’u Henua community that administers the Rapa Nui national park, where the volcano is found.

“The interesting thing is that, for at least the last 200 or 300 years, the laguna was three metres deep, meaning no human being could have left the moai there in that time.”

Moai are distinctive monolithic carved stone figures with elongated faces and no legs that were mostly quarried from tuff, a kind of volcanic ash, at the Rano Raraku volcano.

This Moai is 1.60 metres tall and was found lying down on its side looking at the sky.

It was “full-bodied with recognisable features but no clear definition”, the Ma’u Henua statement said, adding that the group was looking for finance to carry out a more extensive study on the discovery.

However, there were “no plans to remove the moai from where it is”.

The Rano Raraku volcano and its Moai are a Unesco world heritage site. Easter Island was long inhabited by Polynesian people, before Chile annexed it in 1888.

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New Easter Island moai statue discovered in volcano crater


A new moai – one of Easter Island’s iconic monolithic statues – has been found in the bed of a dry lake in a volcano crater, the Indigenous community that administers the site on the Chilean island has said.

The statue was found on 21 February by a team of scientific volunteers from three Chilean universities who were collaborating on a project to restore the marshland in the crater inside the Rano Raraku volcano.

Binghamton University researchers found that Easter Island’s moai statues were built close to sources of fresh water.

“This moai has great potential for scientific and natural studies – it’s a really unique discovery as it’s the first time that that a moai has been discovered inside a laguna [lake] in a Rano Raraku crater,” the Ma’u Henua Indigenous community said in a statement on Tuesday.

Several moai in that area suffered charring in an October forest fire on the island, which is also known as Rapa Nui and lies 3,500km west of Chile.

“This moai is in the centre of a laguna that began drying up in 2018,” said the director of the Ma’u Henua community that administers the Rapa Nui national park, where the volcano is found.

“The interesting thing is that, for at least the last 200 or 300 years, the laguna was three metres deep, meaning no human being could have left the moai there in that time.”

Moai are distinctive monolithic carved stone figures with elongated faces and no legs that were mostly quarried from tuff, a kind of volcanic ash, at the Rano Raraku volcano.

This Moai is 1.60 metres tall and was found lying down on its side looking at the sky.

It was “full-bodied with recognisable features but no clear definition”, the Ma’u Henua statement said, adding that the group was looking for finance to carry out a more extensive study on the discovery.

However, there were “no plans to remove the moai from where it is”.

The Rano Raraku volcano and its Moai are a Unesco world heritage site. Easter Island was long inhabited by Polynesian people, before Chile annexed it in 1888.

A new year means new opportunities, and we're hoping this year gives rise to some much-needed stability and progress. Whatever happens, the Guardian will be there, providing clarity and fearless, independent reporting from around the world, 24/7.

Times are tough, and we know not everyone is in a position to pay for news. But as we’re reader-funded, we rely on the ongoing generosity of those who can afford it. This vital support means millions can continue to read reliable reporting on the events shaping our world. Will you invest in the Guardian this year?

Unlike many others, we have no billionaire owner, meaning we can fearlessly chase the truth and report it with integrity. 2023 will be no different; we will work with trademark determination and passion to bring you journalism that’s always free from commercial or political interference. No one edits our editor or diverts our attention from what’s most important.

With your support, we’ll continue to keep Guardian journalism open and free for everyone to read. When access to information is made equal, greater numbers of people can understand global events and their impact on people and communities. Together, we can demand better from the powerful and fight for democracy.

Whether you give a little or a lot, your funding is vital in powering our reporting for years to come.