discover a new moai in a dry lagoon

discover a new moai in a dry lagoon

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A new moai, one of the characteristic statues of Easter Island, was found on the bed of a dry lagoon in the crater of a volcano in that Chilean territory. The statue, 1.60 meters long, was found lying on its side, “full body with recognizable features, but not clearly defined.”

The moai was discovered on February 21 by a team of scientific volunteers from three Chilean universities who are collaborating with the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) in the recovery of a wetland located in the crater of the Rano Raraku volcano and which was affected by a fire on October 4.

“This moai is in the center of a lagoon that began to dry up in 2018,” said Ninoska Avareipua Huki Cuadros, director of the Ma’u Henua indigenous community that manages the Rapa Nui National Park, where the Rano Raraku volcano is located.

“The interesting thing is that, at least in the last 200 or 300 years, the lagoon was three meters deep, in such a way that no human being could have left this moai there at this time,” said Huki, who is also chief CONAF province on Easter Island, a territory in the Pacific Ocean also known as Rapa Nui.

As soon as the find was made, the Ma’u Henua Heritage and Conservation Unit was informed, which inspected the land and produced an archaeological report. It is a 1.60-meter-long moai, which is lying down looking at the sky, “full body with recognizable features, but not clearly defined,” says a statement from the Ma’u Henua community. It was carved out of a type of rock, known as lapilli tuff, found only at Rano Raraku.

“This moai has a high potential for scientific and natural study, it is a very unique finding, because it is the first discovery of a moai inside the lagoon of the Rano Raraku crater,” the statement said. According to the Ma’u Henua community, the discovery of the moai can open up a new perspective on the history of the island and its ancestors.

Ninoska Huki clarified, however, that “there is no idea of ​​removing the moai from where it is.” “You have to ask the entire Rapanui community what they want to do with the moai, and the older people want it to stay there, not to be moved,” she said.

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Written by Editor TLN

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