Easter Island

18 Stories

Easter Island Writing System Could Be a Rare Original
Easter Island's Ancient
Script May Be in Rare Club

Easter Island's Ancient Script May Be in Rare Club

Researchers suggest the writing system may have sprung up independently

(Newser) - There are few writing systems known that started completely from scratch, but researchers now believe a script known as "rongorongo" from Rapu Nui—also known as Easter Island—could be one of them. For some background, there are 400 known rongorongo glyphs, which have never been deciphered, according to...

New Easter Island Statue, Unseen for Centuries, Emerges
On Easter Island, a Sight
Unseen for Centuries Emerges
in case you missed it

On Easter Island, a Sight Unseen for Centuries Emerges

A centuries-old statue is revealed when crater lake dries up

(Newser) - For centuries, the Easter Island moai lay hidden in a volcano crater filled with water. Five years ago, that crater lake began to dry up, and last week, the dry lake bed revealed what it had concealed for so long, per AFP . A team of volunteers from three Chilean universities...

Fire Scorches Easter Island's Iconic Statues

Authorities say the damage is 'irreparable'

(Newser) - A forest fire that swept through a national park has done irreversible damage to some of Easter Island's most famous landmarks, authorities say. The fire scorched around 250 acres of an area that's home to numerous moai statues, the Telegraph reports. The huge stone figures are sometimes called...

For Easter Island Head, a 'Profoundly Significant' Move

Moai held at Chile's national museum since 1878 to rejoin the Rapa Nui on Easter Island

(Newser) - A century and a half after it was removed from Easter Island, a giant moai is about to head home. The 1,500-pound moai statue housed at Chile's National Museum of Natural History since 1878 will next week begin a five-day journey back to Easter Island , a Chilean territory,...

'Incalculable' Damage After Truck Hits Easter Island Statue

The unmanned vehicle was parked, but the brake apparently failed

(Newser) - For the Rapa Nui, the iconic moai statues of Easter Island are "sacred structures," Camilo Rapu, the head of the indigenous community there, tells CNN . That's why what went down in the Chilean territory Sunday has the locals distressed and wondering how to better protect the famous...

Bones Taken From Easter Island to Be Returned

Explorer Thor Heyerdahl took them from the island in the '50s

(Newser) - Thor Heyerdahl's most famous feat didn't involve Easter Island: The Norwegian explorer is best known for sailing more than 3,700 miles from Peru to Polynesia on a reed raft dubbed the Kon-Tiki. But just shy of a decade after that 1947 journey—an attempt to prove people...

Scientists May Have Solved Mystery of Famous Statues

Scientists think Easter Island's giant heads were placed near sources of fresh water

(Newser) - Scientists may have solved one of the riddles about the famous giant statues of Easter Island —why long-ago inhabitants placed them where they did. A new study in PLOS One makes the case that the statues went up to designate sources of fresh water, one of the island's...

What We Assumed About Easter Island May Be Wrong
What We Assumed About
Easter Island May Be Wrong
in case you missed it

What We Assumed About Easter Island May Be Wrong

New study looked at the source of the tools used to carve the heads

(Newser) - The tale of the demise of Easter Island's people may have to be rewritten. The story has long held that infighting as resources ran out was one of the main drivers of the collapse, but a new study published in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology suggests a different scenario....

Easter Island Natives Want British Museum's 'Stolen' Statue

Rapa Nui say the Hoa Hakananai'a moai piece was stolen 150 years ago

(Newser) - It's been called one of the British Museum's must-see marvels. But Hoa Hakananai'a won't remain there, if Easter Island's indigenous people get their way. The 7-foot-tall moai statue housed in London since it was taken 150 years ago from what's now a Chilean territory...

Easter Island May Not Have Collapsed Due to War After All

Obsidian artifacts were likely just general tools, not weapons

(Newser) - The ancient civilization of Rapa Nui, more commonly called Easter Island and a part of modern-day Chile, has long been thought to have been brought to its knees before Europeans arrived by violent infighting as precious resources ran out. But now anthropologists from Binghamton University in New York are publishing...

Researchers Solve Piece of Easter Island Mystery

The ongoing debate: Did Rapa Nui do themselves in, or are Europeans to blame?

(Newser) - The ongoing debate over what prompted the decline of Easter Island's native Polynesian inhabitants, known as Rapa Nui, is being clarified by scientists digging for answers in the soil. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , an international team of researchers explain that they examined agricultural...

How Civilization Really Declined on Easter Island
What Really Happened to People of Easter Island
study says

What Really Happened to People of Easter Island

Study points to environmental decline before Europeans came

(Newser) - A new study is wading into the hot debate over exactly why Easter Island's indigenous people declined—and already news sources are interpreting it differently. The international team of researchers come to one clear conclusion: Environmental conditions made life hard for the Rapa Nui people before Europeans ever arrived...

Teeth Solve an Easter Island Mystery

Scientists discover what the locals were really snacking on 800 years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have been pondering why people who lived on Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) appear to have eaten palm trees—a primary crop, reports Nature World News —for several centuries when other research suggests the plant went extinct right around the time of colonization in the 13th century. The...

Easter Islanders Not as Isolated as Thought

Genetic data suggests travel to and from South America 20-plus generations ago

(Newser) - Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is such a remote speck of rock in the Pacific Ocean that it has been nicknamed "navel of the world." Yet a review of genetic data of 27 natives suggests the islanders made contact with outsiders hundreds of years before the first Europeans...

Scientists Discover New Insect on Easter Island

It's rare good news on the damaged island

(Newser) - A new insect species has been discovered in a cave on Easter Island, a significant find given that most of the island's indigenous life has gone extinct, reports LiveScience . The insect is so new it has yet to be named, but it's a type of book louse about the size...

Easter Island Statue Plans Paris Pilgrimage

'Moai' aims to change humanity's 'materialistic conscience': government

(Newser) - A “moai”—one of the giant statues of elongated heads on Easter Island—will travel to Paris in 2010 on a mission to challenge the “materialistic conscience” of the world, the Independent reports. Representatives of the Pacific island’s government said the statue had made its wish...

Time Slows on Easter Island
 Time Slows 
 on Easter Island 

Time Slows on Easter Island

Ancient culture thrives despite tourism surge

(Newser) - Tourists have left no stone unturned on Easter Island, flocking at rates of 50,000 a year to arguably the world’s most remote habitation. Five hours of flying over uninterrupted Pacific Ocean lands you on this mostly undeveloped volcanic rock with its haunting stone figures (moai), but today it...

What?! Tourist Arrested for Busting Ancient Statue's Ear

Easter Island vandal headed to jail

(Newser) - A Finnish tourist is facing an imposing sentence for cracking an ear off one of Easter Island's ancient monoliths, the Guardian reports. A local woman saw him snap the ear off the 13-foot statue. It shattered in several pieces as it fell to the ground, and he fled with one...

18 Stories