Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island) is one of the most amazing archaeological wonders I’ve ever seen. While the island is quite small it is filled with some amazing sites. These sites include but are not limited to:
Tahai is a ceremonial complex illustrating how the island landscape was modified in ancient times since the terrain was filled here with thousand of cubic meters of sand and stone for the 3 ceremonial centres here. It is also a great place to watch sunset.
Ana Kai Tangata
This cave played a major role in the history of Rapa Nui because of its connection to the ceremony of the Tangata Manu (bird-man cult). There are paintings that adorn the ceiling that depict the Sooty Turn.
The microclimate found in the Rano Kau crater provides favourable humidity and light conditions, also providing shelter to the plants from the wind and salinity of the sea.
Orongo was a ceremonial village only used for several weeks each year at the beginning spring.
An archaeological complex comprising of 2 large monumental ahu. Like other ceremonial centres, all the moai were knocked down around the 18th and 19th centuries.
According to the island’s oral history, Anakena is the place where the founding king of Rapa Nui people, Hotu Matu’a, first set foot on the island.
According to oral history, these 7 moai represent the young explorers sent to explore the island before the arrival of the colonisers led by Hotu Matu’a. These are the only moai which face the ocean.
The 15 moai of Tongariki were toppled in the 17th century, it is believed as a result of tribal warfare. The statues were struck by misfortune again in May 1960 when an earthquake caused a tsunami that scattered the statues and alters from their bases. In 1992 it was agreed to restore the statues. The work was finished in 1996.
Rano Raraku was the centre of Rapa Nui megalithic art, where most of the moai were carved and taken to different sectors of the island. It is also the home of the largest moai which is 21m long.
Te Pito Kura
The only statue at this site, called Paro, is the biggest moai ever moved and successfully erected on a ahu. It is almost 10m tall and weighs around 80 tonnes. The moai Paro was one of the last to be knocked down from its ahu sometime after 1838.
See gallery here.
Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air!