Located 1300 miles away from land in the midst of the Pacific Ocean there lies the famous Easter Island with its massive green hills and picturesque monoliths. Statues from the Eastern Island (also known as Moai) have been capturing the minds of scientists since they were first discovered. It used to be a bit of an inside joke that if you dig deeper underground, there will be shoulders, torso, and the rest of the bodies of stone giants. Well, you know what? It turned out to be quite true!
Like so many mysterious things, the statues of the Easter Island turned out to be not what everyone expected. In fact, it’s become clear in 2012 that the famous Moai heads are actually heads of statues with torsos hidden deep in the ground!
Built around 1250-1500 B.C.E by the Rapa Nui people who used to live there, the Moai statues appear to be remnants of the civilization long gone. As precious as it may sound, hundreds of Moai heads were toppled and sent away to the British Museum after Christianity was adopted in 1860s. Only heads buried in the earth remained!
The first expedition with an excavation occurred in 1919, but was so poorly documented that we have close to no info as to what happened during those days. Year 2012 was more fruitful as numerous pieces of rock art along with two full Moai statues were uncovered during a new excavation performed by The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP).