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Easter Island archaeology project digs up island’s secrets

by Fox News

Wikipedia

New photographs reveal what lies beneath the surface of Easter Island, one of the most remote places in the world — the carved bodies of the island’s 887 famous guardians.

Most people think of the 63-square-mile Pacific island’s silent stone sentinels as simple heads. But the heads all have bodies — and a backstory that’s only now being pieced together, explained Jo Anne Van Tilburg, director of the Easter Island Statue Project.

“Those statues which are the most photographed are standing in the quarry. They’re buried up to mid-torso level. So it’s understandable that the general public didn’t have a clue that those statues had bodies,” she told FoxNews.com.

Current belief is that the statues were carved between A.D.1100 up until the 1800s, when an influx of Westerners transformed the culture. Van Tilburg, a fellow with The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, has only been coming to Easter Island (called Rapa Nui) to do research for twenty years, since 1992. But she first came more than thirty years ago — and stayed for one clear reason.

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