One of the world's most famous yet least visited archaeological sites, Easter Island is a small island located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. It is considered to be the world’s most remote inhabited island. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
The oldest known traditional name of the island is Te Pito o Te Henua, meaning ‘The Center of the World.’ In the 1860’s Tahitian sailors gave the island the name Rapa Nui, meaning ‘Great Rapa,’ because of its resemblance to another island in Polynesia called Rapa Iti, meaning ‘Little Rapa’. The island received its most well known current name, Easter Island, from the Dutch sea captain Jacob Roggeveen who became the first European to visit Easter Sunday in 1722.
Easter Island’s primary source of income from tourism comes from the 1000 stone figures that are dotted around the edges of the island- the tallest of these sculptures being 10 metre tall and 86 tons in weight. The figures are called the Moai statues and were likely built around 1400-1650 A.D by the Rapa Nui people, the native Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island. 95% of them were carved from the volcano Rano Raraku which is comprised mostly of Tuff-compressed volcanic ash. Tuff is much easier to carve, which made it the ideal material as…show more content… The Moai were moved possibly as far as 12 miles to be placed on sacred platforms. Some theories speculate that the islanders used logs to move the Moai. University of california archaeologist, Joanne Van Tilburg tried using a wooden sled to move a Moai along rails made of logs, similar to a traditional method polynesians used to move canoes out of the water. The method succeeded however people still have doubts about whether this method was actually used. According to island lore, the statues had simply walked into