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The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 Wednesday, August 27, 2014
 
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Easter Island

The monolithic human shaped stone statues at Easter Island are carved from tuff, a hard volcanic stone. They stand on the island’s coast and range in height from 3 to 12 meters (10 to 40 feet), some weighing more than 50 tons. Most recent archeological work indicates that they were erected between 1000 - 1600 AD. At one time, all the statues were torn down by the islanders but have been raised by recent archeological efforts.

There has been much speculation as to the origins of the mysterious statues. The sculptures have been likened to those by Asians or Native Americans. Some suggest that the artisans were from a lost culture influenced by extra-terrestrials. Archeologist Alfred Métraux (1902-1963), theorized from his study of the island that the sculptures were done by the island’s indigenous population, Polynesian in descent.

Easter Island was so named by its first European visitors, the Dutch, who named it after their day of their own arrival. It is also known as Rapi Nui ("Great Rapa") and Te Pito te Henua ("Navel of the World"). The island is a Chilean dependency located in the eastern Pacific Ocean.



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