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Easter Island Heads Have Bodies Buried Beneath Them-Truth!

Easter Island Heads Have Bodies Buried Beneath Them-Truth! 

Summary of eRumor:
The famous Easter Island heads have bodies buried beneath the Earth.
The Truth:
This one is true.
Archaeologists discovered that a number of Easter Island head statues have torsos that were buried over time by eroded soil.
Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui) is a Polynesian island located in the East Pacific. Ancient natives of Rapa Nui carved 887 head statutes that have puzzled people for centuries. But discoveries by the Easter Island Statue Project offer new answers.
Jo Anne Van Tilburg, a UCLA research assistant and the director of the Easter Island Statue Project, said she was “blindsided” when excavations revealed bodies buried beneath some of the head statutes:

 “But now I quite understand it, because most of the photographs that are widely available on the Internet, and certainly in books, deal only with the very photogenic statues that are located on the slopes of the quarry in which they were carved.”

Buried to mid-torso, she said, the statues (which the Rapa Nui call moai, pronounced MO-eye) “do appear to be heads only. And, indeed, over the years, the statues were usually referred to as the Easter Island heads. But now people are aware they have bodies. I think that’s fabulous. I love it when good science can be turned into public information so quickly.”

The base of the Easter Island head statues held even more surprises. Archaeologists found crescent-shaped etchings in the stones, red pigment and human remains, UCLA reports:

The excavation team also found about 800 grams of natural red pigment — nearly two pounds — in the burial hole, along with a human burial. Van Tilburg believes the pigment was used to paint the statues, just as the Rapa Nui used pigment to paint their bodies for certain ceremonies. The unusually large amount of pigment found indicates that it might have been used by a priest or chief, perhaps as part of mortuary practice, she said. Human bones were found throughout the dig, indicating that people buried their dead around the statues.

It’s believed that the Easter Island head statutes date back to 700 AD. Most of them were carved between 1000 and 1650. Many were knocked over during clan wars from 1600-1700, and others have been moved, the website World Mysteries reports:

Scholars are unable to definitively explain the function and use of the moai statues. It is assumed that their carving and erection derived from an idea rooted in similar practices found elsewhere in Polynesia but which evolved in a unique way on Easter Island. Archaeological and iconographic analysis indicates that the statue cult was based on an ideology of male, lineage-based authority incorporating anthropomorphic symbolism. The statues were thus symbols of authority and power, both religious and political. But they were not only symbols. To the people who erected and used them, they were actual repositories of sacred spirit.

The discovery of bodies buried beneath some of the Easter Island head adds another twist to the island’s mysterious past.