"It is ridiculously predictable": scientists found out the purpose of the stone statues on Easter Island
American researchers found out the purpose of the pedestals of ahu, on which the famous statues of Easter Island were erected. According to experts, these platforms pointed to freshwater sources. Making a map of the island, on which scientists plotted the location of ancient structures and natural resources, anthropologists noticed that springs are located near all stone idols.
On Easter Island, or as it is also called, Rapanui, there are more than 300 megalithic platforms (ahu) and about a thousand stone statues (moai). It is believed that the first of them were built in the XIII century by the Polynesian civilization of Rapanui. The purpose of moai for a long time remained the subject of debate among scientists. Many researchers believed that these buildings were deified figures of their ancestors, or they were symbols of various clans of the Rapanui society.
American anthropologists have studied the location of the platforms ahu, on which stone statues "sit". During the study, scientists mapped the island, which marked the location of natural resources, including freshwater sources. It turned out that springs are located near all megalithic structures. There were no sources of fresh water elsewhere on the island.
“Many researchers, including us, have long thought about the relationship between ahu, moai and various types of natural resources, such as water or fertile lands. However, for the first time we managed to carry out a quantitative-spatial modeling, which clearly showed the connection between ahu and freshwater sources, ”said study author Robert DiNapoli of the University of Oregon.
Anthropologists have studied the location of 93 megalithic platforms, mainly in the east of the island, which were built before the arrival of European sailors in the XVIII century.
“Every time we discovered a source of fresh water, we saw giant statues in this place. It was ridiculously predictable, ”said study co-author Karl Lipo of Binghamton University.
According to the experts, representatives of the ancient society of society decided to designate such a valuable resource as drinking water as a special “signpost”. In addition, the scientists came to the conclusion that the ancient tribes of Easter Island did not quarrel with each other, as some experts had believed before, but, on the contrary, shared resources and erected stone statues together.
“The difficult living conditions of Easter Island make the artifacts created by the inhabitants of this small piece of land that has inhabited it for more than 500 years, even more significant. Representatives of the Rapanui society not only survived in a small, poor in natural resources, isolated place, but also made about a thousand statues (moai) and more than 300 megalithic platforms (ahu), ”the study authors noted.
While anthropologists have at their disposal comprehensive data on the location of the statues and sources of fresh water only in the eastern part of the island. However, in the near future, scientists plan to conduct a full study of Fr. Easter to finally verify the validity of his theory.