Abstract: Easter Island Excavations: New Light on Old Assumptions
Our recent excavations of two monolithic statues in Rano Raraku quarry, Rapa Nui, are the first since Thor Heyerdahl and his Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island, 1954-55. Two statues, 7m tall each, reveal interesting new details on statue production and use. Reconstruction of the paleoenvironment of the statue quarry challenges outdated but often repeated assumptions of statue production and transport methods. A pilot conservation project associated with the statues and funded by the AIA gives hope for future preservation of the Rapa Nui patrimony.