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Ongoing archaeological studies this late date: Significant ecological impacts and major cultural investments in monumental architecture and statuary thus began soon after initial settlement.

According to oral tradition, the first settlement was at Anakena. Researchers have noted that the Caleta Anakena landing point provides the island's best shelter from prevailing swells as well as a sandy beach for canoe landings and launchings so it appeals as a likely early place of settlement.

However, this conclusion contradicts radiocarbon dating , according to which other sites preceded Anakena by many years, especially the Tahai , whose radiocarbon dates precede Anakena's by several centuries.

According to some theories, such as the Polynesian Diaspora Theory , there is a possibility that early Polynesian settlers arrived from South America due to their remarkable sea-navigation abilities.

Theorists have supported this through the agricultural evidence of the sweet potato. The sweet potato was a favoured crop found among Polynesian society for generations.

However, the origins of the sweet potato trace back to South America, suggesting evidence of interaction at some point in time between these two geographic areas.

In , a voyage with reconstructed Polynesian boats was able to reach Easter Island from Mangareva in 19 days. According to oral traditions recorded by missionaries in the s, the island originally had a strong class system , with an ariki , or high chief , wielding great power over nine other clans and their respective chiefs.

The high chief was the eldest descendant through first-born lines of the island's legendary founder, Hotu Matu'a. The most visible element in the culture was the production of massive moai statues that some believe represented deified ancestors.

It was believed that the living had a symbiotic relationship with the dead in which the dead provided everything that the living needed health, fertility of land and animals, fortune etc.

Most settlements were located on the coast, and most moai were erected along the coastline, watching over their descendants in the settlements before them, with their backs toward the spirit world in the sea.

Jared Diamond suggested that cannibalism took place on Easter Island after the construction of the moai contributed to environmental degradation when extreme deforestation destabilized an already precarious ecosystem.

Paschalococos possibly the largest palm trees in the world at the time , Alphitonia zizyphoides , and Elaeocarpus rarotongensis. At least six species of land birds were known to live on the island.

A major factor that contributed to the extinction of multiple plant species was the introduction of the Polynesian rat.

Studies by paleobotanists have shown rats can dramatically affect the reproduction of vegetation in an ecosystem. In the case of Rapa Nui, recovered plant seed shells showed markings of being gnawed on by rats.

West wrote, "Sometime before the arrival of Europeans on Easter Island, the Rapanui experienced a tremendous upheaval in their social system brought about by a change in their island's ecology By the time of European arrival in , the island's population had dropped to 2,—3, from a high of approximately 15, just a century earlier.

The island was largely deforested, and it did not have any trees more than 3 metres 10 feet tall. Loss of large trees meant that residents were no longer able to build seaworthy vessels, significantly diminishing their fishing abilities.

One theory regarding the deforestation that caused such ecological and social damage was that the trees were used as rollers to move the statues to their place of erection from the quarry at Rano Raraku.

At first, the native tropical forests provided ideal shade cover for soil. But with many of the native forest being destroyed, the topsoil eroded, causing a sharp decline in agricultural production.

By the 18th century, residents of the island were largely sustained by farming, with domestic chickens as the primary source of protein. As the island became overpopulated and resources diminished, warriors known as matatoa gained more power and the Ancestor Cult ended, making way for the Bird Man Cult.

Beverly Haun wrote, "The concept of mana power invested in hereditary leaders was recast into the person of the birdman, apparently beginning circa , and coinciding with the final vestiges of the moai period.

The god responsible for creating humans, Makemake , played an important role in this process. Katherine Routledge , who systematically collected the island's traditions in her expedition, [31] showed that the competitions for Bird Man Rapa Nui: Petroglyphs representing Bird Men on Easter Island are the same as some in Hawaii, indicating that this concept was probably brought by the original settlers; only the competition itself was unique to Easter Island.

According to Diamond and Heyerdahl's version of the island's history, the huri mo'ai —"statue-toppling"—continued into the s as a part of fierce internal wars.

A study headed by Douglas Owsley published in asserted that there is little archaeological evidence of pre-European societal collapse. Bone pathology and osteometric data from islanders of that period clearly suggest few fatalities can be attributed directly to violence.

Four years later, in , British explorer James Cook visited Easter Island; he reported that some statues had been toppled. Through the interpretation of Hitihiti, Cook learned the statues commemorated their former high chiefs, including their names and ranks.

He made a detailed map of the bay, including his anchorage points, as well as a more generalised map of the island, plus some illustrations. A series of devastating events killed or removed most of the population in the s.

In December , Peruvian slave raiders struck. Violent abductions continued for several months, eventually capturing around 1, men and women, half of the island's population.

Although debate exists about whether this is proto-writing or true writing. When the slave raiders were forced to repatriate the people they had kidnapped, carriers of smallpox disembarked together with a few survivors on each of the islands.

Easter Island's population was reduced to the point where some of the dead were not even buried. About a quarter of the island's population succumbed along with him.

In the following years, the managers of the sheep ranch and the missionaries started buying the newly available lands of the deceased, and this led to great confrontations between natives and settlers.

Jean-Baptiste Dutrou-Bornier bought up all of the island apart from the missionaries' area around Hanga Roa and moved a few hundred Rapa Nui to Tahiti to work for his backers.

In the missionaries, having fallen out with Dutrou-Bornier, evacuated all but Rapa Nui to the Gambier islands.

Six years later, only people lived on Easter Island, and only 36 of them had any offspring. He eventually bought up all lands on the island with the exception of the mission, and was its sole employer.

He worked to develop tourism on the island and was the principal informant for the British and German archaeological expeditions for the island.

Salmon sold the Brander Easter Island holdings to the Chilean government on 2 January , and signed as a witness to the cession of the island.

He returned to Tahiti in December He effectively ruled the island from until his cession to Chile in Toro, representing the government of Chile, signed with Atamu Tekena , designated "King" by the Roman Catholic missionaries after the paramount chief and his heir had died.

The validity of this treaty is still contested by some Rapa Nui. Officially, Chile purchased the nearly all encompassing Mason-Brander sheep ranch, comprised from lands purchased from the descendants of Rapa Nui who died during the epidemics, and then claimed sovereignty over the island.

Until the s, the surviving Rapa Nui were confined to Hanga Roa. The rest of the island was rented to the Williamson-Balfour Company as a sheep farm until In , the Rapanui were given Chilean citizenship.

Tourism slowed, and private property was restored. During his time in power, Pinochet visited Easter Island on three occasions.

The military built military facilities and a city hall. After an agreement in between Chile and United States, the runway at Mataveri International Airport was enlarged and was inaugurated in Pinochet is reported to have refused to attend the inauguration in protest of pressures from the United States to attend human rights cases.

Fishers of Rapa Nui have shown their concern of illegal fishing on the island. Species of fish were collected in Easter Island for one month in different habitats including shallow lava pools and deep waters.

Within these habitats, two holotypes and paratypes, Antennarius randalli and Antennarius moai , were discovered. These are considered frog-fish because of their characteristics: In , the government decided to limit the stay period for tourists from 90 days to 30 days because of social and environmental issues faced by the Island to preserve its historical importance.

In January , the UN's Special Rapporteur on Indigenous People, James Anaya, expressed concern about the treatment of the indigenous Rapa Nui by the Chilean government, urging Chile to "make every effort to conduct a dialogue in good faith with representatives of the Rapa Nui people to solve, as soon as possible the real underlying problems that explain the current situation".

They were arrested by the government, and no injuries were reported. Easter Island is one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands. The island is about It has an area of There are three Rano freshwater crater lakes , at Rano Kau , Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi , near the summit of Terevaka, but no permanent streams or rivers.

Easter Island is a volcanic high island , consisting mainly of three extinct coalesced volcanoes: Terevaka altitude metres forms the bulk of the island, while two other volcanoes, Poike and Rano Kau , form the eastern and southern headlands and give the island its roughly triangular shape.

Lesser cones and other volcanic features include the crater Rano Raraku , the cinder cone Puna Pau and many volcanic caves including lava tubes.

The ridge was formed by the Nazca Plate moving over the Easter hotspot. The Nazca-Pacific relative plate movement due to the seafloor spreading , amounts to about mm per year.

This movement over the Easter hotspot has resulted in the Easter Seamount Chain, which merges into the Nazca Ridge further to the east. The chain has progressively younger ages to the west.

The current hotspot location is speculated to be west of Easter Island, amidst the Ahu, Umu and Tupa submarine volcanic fields and the Pukao and Moai seamounts.

Easter Island lies atop the Rano Kau Ridge, and consists of three shield volcanoes with parallel geologic histories. Poike and Rano Kau exist on the east and south slopes of Terevaka, respectively.

Rano Kau developed between 0. This volcano possesses a clearly defined summit caldera. Benmoreitic lavas extruded about the rim from 0.

Poike formed from tholeiitic to alkali basalts from 0. Its summit collapsed into a caldera which was subsequently filled by the Puakatiki lava cone pahoehoe flows at 0.

Terevaka formed around 0. Then at about 0. Lava domes and a vent complex formed in the Maunga Puka area, while breccias formed along the vents on the western portion of Rano Aroi crater.

This volcano's southern and southeastern flanks are composed of younger flows consisting of basalt, alkali basalt, hawaiite, mugearite , and benmoreite from eruptive fissures starting at 0.

The youngest lava flow, Roiho, is dated at 0. The Hanga O Teo embayment is interpreted to be a m high landslide scarp. Rano Raraku and Maunga Toa Toa are isolated tuff cones of about 0.

The crater of Rano Raraku contains a freshwater lake. The stratified tuff is composed of sideromelane , slightly altered to palagonite , and somewhat lithified.

The tuff contains lithic fragments of older lava flows. The northwest sector of Rano Raraku contains reddish volcanic ash.

A carving was abandoned when a large, dense and hard lithic fragment was encountered. However, these lithics became the basis for stone hammers and chisels.

The Puna Pau crater contains an extremely porous pumice , from which was carved the Pukao "hats". The Maunga Orito obsidian was used to make the "mataa" spearheads.

In the first half of the 20th century, steam reportedly came out of the Rano Kau crater wall. This was photographed by the island's manager, Mr.

Under the Köppen climate classification , the climate of Easter Island is classified as a tropical rainforest climate Af that borders on a humid subtropical climate.

Winters are relatively mild. The rainiest month is May, though the island experiences year-round rainfall. Precipitation averages 1, millimetres or 44 inches per year.

Occasionally, heavy rainfall and rainstorms strike the island. These occur mostly in the winter months June—August. Since it is close to the South Pacific High and outside the range of the intertropical convergence zone , cyclones and hurricanes do not occur around Easter Island.

The original subtropical moist broadleaf forests are now gone, but paleobotanical studies of fossil pollen , tree moulds left by lava flows, and root casts found in local soils indicate that the island was formerly forested, with a range of trees, shrubs, ferns, and grasses.

A large extinct palm , Paschalococos disperta , related to the Chilean wine palm Jubaea chilensis , was one of the dominant trees as attested by fossil evidence.

Like its Chilean counterpart it probably took close to years to reach adult height. The Polynesian rat , which the original settlers brought with them, played a very important role in the disappearance of the Rapa Nui palm.

The remains of palm stumps in different places indicate that humans caused the trees to fall because in large areas, the stumps were cut efficiently.

The clearance of the palms to make the settlements led to their extinction almost years ago. With the palm and the toromiro virtually gone, there was considerably less rainfall as a result of less condensation.

After the island was used to feed thousands of sheep for almost a century, by the mids the island was mostly covered in grassland with nga'atu or bulrush Schoenoplectus californicus tatora in the crater lakes of Rano Raraku and Rano Kau.

The presence of these reeds, which are called totora in the Andes , was used to support the argument of a South American origin of the statue builders, but pollen analysis of lake sediments shows these reeds have grown on the island for over 30, years.

Fossil evidence indicates six species of landbirds two rails , two parrots , one owl, and one heron , all of which have become extinct. The immunosuppressant drug sirolimus was first discovered in the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus in a soil sample from Easter Island.

The drug is also known as rapamycin, after Rapa Nui. Trees are sparse, rarely forming natural groves , and it has been argued whether native Easter Islanders deforested the island in the process of erecting their statues, [72] and in providing sustenance for an overpopulated island.

Recent experimental recreations have proven that it is fully possible that the moai were literally walked from their quarries to their final positions by use of ropes, casting doubt on the role that their existence plays in the environmental collapse of the island.

Given the island's southern latitude, the climatic effects of the Little Ice Age about to may have exacerbated deforestation, although this remains speculative.

Experts, however, do not agree on when the island's palms became extinct. Jared Diamond dismisses past climate change as a dominant cause of the island's deforestation in his book Collapse which assesses the collapse of the ancient Easter Islanders.

He notes that they stopped making statues at that time and started destroying the ahu. But the link is weakened because the Bird Man cult continued to thrive and survived the great impact caused by the arrival of explorers, whalers, sandalwood traders, and slave raiders.

Midden contents show that the main source of protein was tuna and dolphin. With the loss of the trees, there was a sudden drop in the quantities of fish bones found in middens as the islanders lost the means to construct fishing vessels, coinciding with a large increase in bird bones.

This was followed by a decrease in the number of bird bones as birds lost their nesting sites or became extinct. A new style of art from this period shows people with exposed ribs and distended bellies, indicative of malnutrition, and it is around this time that many islanders moved to living in fortified caves and the first signs of warfare and cannibalism appear.

Soil erosion because of lack of trees is apparent in some places. Sediment samples document that up to half of the native plants had become extinct and that the vegetation of the island drastically altered.

Polynesians were primarily farmers, not fishermen, and their diet consisted mainly of cultivated staples such as taro root, sweet potato, yams, cassava, and bananas.

With no trees to protect them, sea spray led to crop failures exacerbated by a sudden reduction in fresh water flows. There is evidence that the islanders took to planting crops in caves beneath collapsed ceilings and covered the soil with rocks to reduce evaporation.

Cannibalism occurred on many Polynesian islands, sometimes in times of plenty as well as famine. Its presence on Easter Island based on human remains associated with cooking sites, especially in caves is supported by oral histories.

Benny Peiser [4] noted evidence of self-sufficiency when Europeans first arrived. The island still had smaller trees, mainly toromiro , which became extinct in the wild in the 20th century probably because of slow growth and changes in the island's ecosystem.

Cornelis Bouman, Jakob Roggeveen 's captain, stated in his logbook , " The foundations of the houses were made of buried basalt slabs with holes for wooden beams to connect with each other throughout the width of the house.

These were then covered with a layer of totora reed, followed by a layer of woven sugarcane leaves, and lastly a layer of woven grass.

Peiser claims that these reports indicate that large trees existed at that time, which is perhaps contradicted by the Bouman quote above. Plantations were often located farther inland, next to foothills, inside open-ceiling lava tubes, and in other places protected from the strong salt winds and salt spray affecting areas closer to the coast.

It is possible many of the Europeans did not venture inland. The statue quarry, only one kilometre 0. Easter Island has suffered from heavy soil erosion in recent centuries, perhaps aggravated by agriculture and massive deforestation.

This process seems to have been gradual and may have been aggravated by sheep farming throughout most of the 20th century. Jakob Roggeveen reported that Easter Island was exceptionally fertile.

They cultivate bananas, sugar cane, and above all sweet potatoes. I found, on the contrary, a considerable population, with more beauty and grace than I afterwards met in any other island; and a soil, which, with very little labor, furnished excellent provisions, and in an abundance more than sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants.

For example, he states, to severely insult an enemy one would say, "The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth. Contemporary ethnographic research has proven there is scarcely any tangible evidence for widespread cannibalism anywhere and at any time on the island.

The most important myths are: The large stone statues, or moai , for which Easter Island is famous, were carved in the period — AD rectified radio-carbon dates.

The native islanders who carved them used only stone hand chisels, mainly basalt toki , which lie in place all over the quarry.

The stone chisels were sharpened by chipping off a new edge when dulled. While sculpting was going on, the volcanic stone was splashed with water to soften it.

While many teams worked on different statues at the same time, a single moai took a team of five or six men approximately a year to complete.

Each statue represented the deceased head of a lineage. Only a quarter of the statues were installed. Nearly half remained in the quarry at Rano Raraku, and the rest sat elsewhere, presumably on their way to intended locations.

The largest moai raised on a platform is known as "Paro". It weighs 82 tonnes Possible means by which the statues were moved include employment of a miro manga erua , a Y-shaped sledge with cross pieces, pulled with ropes made from the tough bark of the hau tree [87] and tied around the statue's neck.

Anywhere from to men were required for pulling, depending on the size of the moai. Among other researchers on moving and erecting the moai was Vince Lee who reenacted a moai moving scenario.

Some 50 of the statues were re-erected in modern times. One of the first was on Ahu Ature Huke in Anakena beach in Another method that might have been used would be to attach ropes to the statue and rock it, tugging it forward as it rocked.

This would fit the legend of the Mo'ai 'walking' to their final locations. There is debate regarding the effects of the monument creation process on the environment.

Some believe that the process of creating the moai caused widespread deforestation and ultimately a civil war over scarce resources. In , a large moai statue was excavated from the ground.

Tukuturi , an unusual bearded kneeling moai. All fifteen standing moai at Ahu Tongariki , excavated and restored in the s.

Ahu Akivi , one of the few inland ahu, with the only moai facing the ocean. Ahu are stone platforms. Varying greatly in layout, many were reworked during or after the huri mo'ai or statue-toppling era; many became ossuaries ; one was dynamited open; and Ahu Tongariki was swept inland by a tsunami.

Of the known ahu, carried moai—usually just one, probably because of the shortness of the moai period and transportation difficulties.

Ahu Tongariki , one kilometre 0. Some moai may have been made from wood and were lost. Ahu evolved from the traditional Polynesian marae. In this context ahu referred to a small structure sometimes covered with a thatched roof where sacred objects, including statues, were stored.

The ahu were usually adjacent to the marae or main central court where ceremonies took place, though on Easter Island ahu and moai evolved to much greater size.

There the marae is the unpaved plaza before the ahu. The filling of an ahu was sourced locally apart from broken, old moai, fragments of which have been used in the fill.

Ahu are found mostly on the coast, where they are distributed fairly evenly except on the western slopes of Mount Terevaka and the Rano Kau and Poike [96] headlands.

These are the three areas with the least low-lying coastal land, and apart from Poike the furthest areas from Rano Raraku.

One ahu with several moai was recorded on the cliffs at Rano Kau in the s but had fallen to the beach before the Routledge expedition.

One of the highest-quality examples of Easter Island stone masonry is the rear wall of the ahu at Vinapu.

Made without mortar by shaping hard basalt rocks of up to 7 tonnes to match each other exactly, it has a superficial similarity to some Inca stone walls in South America.

While sculpting was going on, the volcanic stone Play Football: Champions Cup slot online at Casino.com UK splashed with water to soften it. Archived from the original on 15 October He notes that they stopped making statues at that time and started destroying the ahu. Only a quarter of the statues were installed. After an agreement in between Chile and United States, the runway at Mataveri International Airport was enlarged and was inaugurated in The chain has progressively younger ages to the west. Retrieved 31 March History of Easter Island. Jakob Roggeveen reported that Easter Island was exceptionally fertile. Venture into the ancient and beautiful world of Easter Island, home to the indigenous Wie steht es bei hertha Nui people and some of the world's most mysterious stone sculptures. Jared Diamond suggested that cannibalism took place on Easter Island after the construction of the Beste Spielothek in Hochoberndorf finden contributed to environmental degradation when extreme deforestation destabilized an already precarious ecosystem. Retrieved 8 November Of the known ahu, carried moai—usually just one, probably because of the shortness of the moai period and bundesliga talente difficulties. Retrieved 24 January

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That top jackpot prize won't come around very often, but there are many other ways to pick up smaller wins in the game, as you can see in the pay table below:.

This video slot is fairly straightforward to get the hang of, with no overly complicated bonus features to make things difficult for inexperienced punters.

In fact, spinners simply need to select whether they want to play with 10, 20 or 30 pay lines on the reels. After that, the only thing left to choose is the value of the bet per line, with options that are as follows: This game is also equipped with a number of additional gameplay options.

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As far as video slots go, Wild Rapa Nui presents a fairly standard spinning game with some decent bonus gameplay action.

However, the really interesting aspect of this slot machine is its theme, because we can't say that we have come across many slots which explore the dramatically beautifully landscape and wildlife of Easter Island.

Wild Rapa Nui Slots. Report a problem Like Vegas Slots Online: By the time of European arrival in , the island's population had dropped to 2,—3, from a high of approximately 15, just a century earlier.

The island was largely deforested, and it did not have any trees more than 3 metres 10 feet tall. Loss of large trees meant that residents were no longer able to build seaworthy vessels, significantly diminishing their fishing abilities.

One theory regarding the deforestation that caused such ecological and social damage was that the trees were used as rollers to move the statues to their place of erection from the quarry at Rano Raraku.

At first, the native tropical forests provided ideal shade cover for soil. But with many of the native forest being destroyed, the topsoil eroded, causing a sharp decline in agricultural production.

By the 18th century, residents of the island were largely sustained by farming, with domestic chickens as the primary source of protein.

As the island became overpopulated and resources diminished, warriors known as matatoa gained more power and the Ancestor Cult ended, making way for the Bird Man Cult.

Beverly Haun wrote, "The concept of mana power invested in hereditary leaders was recast into the person of the birdman, apparently beginning circa , and coinciding with the final vestiges of the moai period.

The god responsible for creating humans, Makemake , played an important role in this process. Katherine Routledge , who systematically collected the island's traditions in her expedition, [31] showed that the competitions for Bird Man Rapa Nui: Petroglyphs representing Bird Men on Easter Island are the same as some in Hawaii, indicating that this concept was probably brought by the original settlers; only the competition itself was unique to Easter Island.

According to Diamond and Heyerdahl's version of the island's history, the huri mo'ai —"statue-toppling"—continued into the s as a part of fierce internal wars.

A study headed by Douglas Owsley published in asserted that there is little archaeological evidence of pre-European societal collapse.

Bone pathology and osteometric data from islanders of that period clearly suggest few fatalities can be attributed directly to violence. Four years later, in , British explorer James Cook visited Easter Island; he reported that some statues had been toppled.

Through the interpretation of Hitihiti, Cook learned the statues commemorated their former high chiefs, including their names and ranks.

He made a detailed map of the bay, including his anchorage points, as well as a more generalised map of the island, plus some illustrations. A series of devastating events killed or removed most of the population in the s.

In December , Peruvian slave raiders struck. Violent abductions continued for several months, eventually capturing around 1, men and women, half of the island's population.

Although debate exists about whether this is proto-writing or true writing. When the slave raiders were forced to repatriate the people they had kidnapped, carriers of smallpox disembarked together with a few survivors on each of the islands.

Easter Island's population was reduced to the point where some of the dead were not even buried. About a quarter of the island's population succumbed along with him.

In the following years, the managers of the sheep ranch and the missionaries started buying the newly available lands of the deceased, and this led to great confrontations between natives and settlers.

Jean-Baptiste Dutrou-Bornier bought up all of the island apart from the missionaries' area around Hanga Roa and moved a few hundred Rapa Nui to Tahiti to work for his backers.

In the missionaries, having fallen out with Dutrou-Bornier, evacuated all but Rapa Nui to the Gambier islands. Six years later, only people lived on Easter Island, and only 36 of them had any offspring.

He eventually bought up all lands on the island with the exception of the mission, and was its sole employer. He worked to develop tourism on the island and was the principal informant for the British and German archaeological expeditions for the island.

Salmon sold the Brander Easter Island holdings to the Chilean government on 2 January , and signed as a witness to the cession of the island.

He returned to Tahiti in December He effectively ruled the island from until his cession to Chile in Toro, representing the government of Chile, signed with Atamu Tekena , designated "King" by the Roman Catholic missionaries after the paramount chief and his heir had died.

The validity of this treaty is still contested by some Rapa Nui. Officially, Chile purchased the nearly all encompassing Mason-Brander sheep ranch, comprised from lands purchased from the descendants of Rapa Nui who died during the epidemics, and then claimed sovereignty over the island.

Until the s, the surviving Rapa Nui were confined to Hanga Roa. The rest of the island was rented to the Williamson-Balfour Company as a sheep farm until In , the Rapanui were given Chilean citizenship.

Tourism slowed, and private property was restored. During his time in power, Pinochet visited Easter Island on three occasions. The military built military facilities and a city hall.

After an agreement in between Chile and United States, the runway at Mataveri International Airport was enlarged and was inaugurated in Pinochet is reported to have refused to attend the inauguration in protest of pressures from the United States to attend human rights cases.

Fishers of Rapa Nui have shown their concern of illegal fishing on the island. Species of fish were collected in Easter Island for one month in different habitats including shallow lava pools and deep waters.

Within these habitats, two holotypes and paratypes, Antennarius randalli and Antennarius moai , were discovered. These are considered frog-fish because of their characteristics: In , the government decided to limit the stay period for tourists from 90 days to 30 days because of social and environmental issues faced by the Island to preserve its historical importance.

In January , the UN's Special Rapporteur on Indigenous People, James Anaya, expressed concern about the treatment of the indigenous Rapa Nui by the Chilean government, urging Chile to "make every effort to conduct a dialogue in good faith with representatives of the Rapa Nui people to solve, as soon as possible the real underlying problems that explain the current situation".

They were arrested by the government, and no injuries were reported. Easter Island is one of the world's most isolated inhabited islands.

The island is about It has an area of There are three Rano freshwater crater lakes , at Rano Kau , Rano Raraku and Rano Aroi , near the summit of Terevaka, but no permanent streams or rivers.

Easter Island is a volcanic high island , consisting mainly of three extinct coalesced volcanoes: Terevaka altitude metres forms the bulk of the island, while two other volcanoes, Poike and Rano Kau , form the eastern and southern headlands and give the island its roughly triangular shape.

Lesser cones and other volcanic features include the crater Rano Raraku , the cinder cone Puna Pau and many volcanic caves including lava tubes.

The ridge was formed by the Nazca Plate moving over the Easter hotspot. The Nazca-Pacific relative plate movement due to the seafloor spreading , amounts to about mm per year.

This movement over the Easter hotspot has resulted in the Easter Seamount Chain, which merges into the Nazca Ridge further to the east.

The chain has progressively younger ages to the west. The current hotspot location is speculated to be west of Easter Island, amidst the Ahu, Umu and Tupa submarine volcanic fields and the Pukao and Moai seamounts.

Easter Island lies atop the Rano Kau Ridge, and consists of three shield volcanoes with parallel geologic histories.

Poike and Rano Kau exist on the east and south slopes of Terevaka, respectively. Rano Kau developed between 0.

This volcano possesses a clearly defined summit caldera. Benmoreitic lavas extruded about the rim from 0.

Poike formed from tholeiitic to alkali basalts from 0. Its summit collapsed into a caldera which was subsequently filled by the Puakatiki lava cone pahoehoe flows at 0.

Terevaka formed around 0. Then at about 0. Lava domes and a vent complex formed in the Maunga Puka area, while breccias formed along the vents on the western portion of Rano Aroi crater.

This volcano's southern and southeastern flanks are composed of younger flows consisting of basalt, alkali basalt, hawaiite, mugearite , and benmoreite from eruptive fissures starting at 0.

The youngest lava flow, Roiho, is dated at 0. The Hanga O Teo embayment is interpreted to be a m high landslide scarp. Rano Raraku and Maunga Toa Toa are isolated tuff cones of about 0.

The crater of Rano Raraku contains a freshwater lake. The stratified tuff is composed of sideromelane , slightly altered to palagonite , and somewhat lithified.

The tuff contains lithic fragments of older lava flows. The northwest sector of Rano Raraku contains reddish volcanic ash.

A carving was abandoned when a large, dense and hard lithic fragment was encountered. However, these lithics became the basis for stone hammers and chisels.

The Puna Pau crater contains an extremely porous pumice , from which was carved the Pukao "hats". The Maunga Orito obsidian was used to make the "mataa" spearheads.

In the first half of the 20th century, steam reportedly came out of the Rano Kau crater wall. This was photographed by the island's manager, Mr.

Under the Köppen climate classification , the climate of Easter Island is classified as a tropical rainforest climate Af that borders on a humid subtropical climate.

Winters are relatively mild. The rainiest month is May, though the island experiences year-round rainfall. Precipitation averages 1, millimetres or 44 inches per year.

Occasionally, heavy rainfall and rainstorms strike the island. These occur mostly in the winter months June—August. Since it is close to the South Pacific High and outside the range of the intertropical convergence zone , cyclones and hurricanes do not occur around Easter Island.

The original subtropical moist broadleaf forests are now gone, but paleobotanical studies of fossil pollen , tree moulds left by lava flows, and root casts found in local soils indicate that the island was formerly forested, with a range of trees, shrubs, ferns, and grasses.

A large extinct palm , Paschalococos disperta , related to the Chilean wine palm Jubaea chilensis , was one of the dominant trees as attested by fossil evidence.

Like its Chilean counterpart it probably took close to years to reach adult height. The Polynesian rat , which the original settlers brought with them, played a very important role in the disappearance of the Rapa Nui palm.

The remains of palm stumps in different places indicate that humans caused the trees to fall because in large areas, the stumps were cut efficiently.

The clearance of the palms to make the settlements led to their extinction almost years ago. With the palm and the toromiro virtually gone, there was considerably less rainfall as a result of less condensation.

After the island was used to feed thousands of sheep for almost a century, by the mids the island was mostly covered in grassland with nga'atu or bulrush Schoenoplectus californicus tatora in the crater lakes of Rano Raraku and Rano Kau.

The presence of these reeds, which are called totora in the Andes , was used to support the argument of a South American origin of the statue builders, but pollen analysis of lake sediments shows these reeds have grown on the island for over 30, years.

Fossil evidence indicates six species of landbirds two rails , two parrots , one owl, and one heron , all of which have become extinct.

The immunosuppressant drug sirolimus was first discovered in the bacterium Streptomyces hygroscopicus in a soil sample from Easter Island.

The drug is also known as rapamycin, after Rapa Nui. Trees are sparse, rarely forming natural groves , and it has been argued whether native Easter Islanders deforested the island in the process of erecting their statues, [72] and in providing sustenance for an overpopulated island.

Recent experimental recreations have proven that it is fully possible that the moai were literally walked from their quarries to their final positions by use of ropes, casting doubt on the role that their existence plays in the environmental collapse of the island.

Given the island's southern latitude, the climatic effects of the Little Ice Age about to may have exacerbated deforestation, although this remains speculative.

Experts, however, do not agree on when the island's palms became extinct. Jared Diamond dismisses past climate change as a dominant cause of the island's deforestation in his book Collapse which assesses the collapse of the ancient Easter Islanders.

He notes that they stopped making statues at that time and started destroying the ahu. But the link is weakened because the Bird Man cult continued to thrive and survived the great impact caused by the arrival of explorers, whalers, sandalwood traders, and slave raiders.

Midden contents show that the main source of protein was tuna and dolphin. With the loss of the trees, there was a sudden drop in the quantities of fish bones found in middens as the islanders lost the means to construct fishing vessels, coinciding with a large increase in bird bones.

This was followed by a decrease in the number of bird bones as birds lost their nesting sites or became extinct. A new style of art from this period shows people with exposed ribs and distended bellies, indicative of malnutrition, and it is around this time that many islanders moved to living in fortified caves and the first signs of warfare and cannibalism appear.

Soil erosion because of lack of trees is apparent in some places. Sediment samples document that up to half of the native plants had become extinct and that the vegetation of the island drastically altered.

Polynesians were primarily farmers, not fishermen, and their diet consisted mainly of cultivated staples such as taro root, sweet potato, yams, cassava, and bananas.

With no trees to protect them, sea spray led to crop failures exacerbated by a sudden reduction in fresh water flows. There is evidence that the islanders took to planting crops in caves beneath collapsed ceilings and covered the soil with rocks to reduce evaporation.

Cannibalism occurred on many Polynesian islands, sometimes in times of plenty as well as famine. Its presence on Easter Island based on human remains associated with cooking sites, especially in caves is supported by oral histories.

Benny Peiser [4] noted evidence of self-sufficiency when Europeans first arrived. The island still had smaller trees, mainly toromiro , which became extinct in the wild in the 20th century probably because of slow growth and changes in the island's ecosystem.

Cornelis Bouman, Jakob Roggeveen 's captain, stated in his logbook , " The foundations of the houses were made of buried basalt slabs with holes for wooden beams to connect with each other throughout the width of the house.

These were then covered with a layer of totora reed, followed by a layer of woven sugarcane leaves, and lastly a layer of woven grass.

Peiser claims that these reports indicate that large trees existed at that time, which is perhaps contradicted by the Bouman quote above.

Plantations were often located farther inland, next to foothills, inside open-ceiling lava tubes, and in other places protected from the strong salt winds and salt spray affecting areas closer to the coast.

It is possible many of the Europeans did not venture inland. The statue quarry, only one kilometre 0. Easter Island has suffered from heavy soil erosion in recent centuries, perhaps aggravated by agriculture and massive deforestation.

This process seems to have been gradual and may have been aggravated by sheep farming throughout most of the 20th century. Jakob Roggeveen reported that Easter Island was exceptionally fertile.

They cultivate bananas, sugar cane, and above all sweet potatoes. I found, on the contrary, a considerable population, with more beauty and grace than I afterwards met in any other island; and a soil, which, with very little labor, furnished excellent provisions, and in an abundance more than sufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants.

For example, he states, to severely insult an enemy one would say, "The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth. Contemporary ethnographic research has proven there is scarcely any tangible evidence for widespread cannibalism anywhere and at any time on the island.

The most important myths are: The large stone statues, or moai , for which Easter Island is famous, were carved in the period — AD rectified radio-carbon dates.

The native islanders who carved them used only stone hand chisels, mainly basalt toki , which lie in place all over the quarry. The stone chisels were sharpened by chipping off a new edge when dulled.

While sculpting was going on, the volcanic stone was splashed with water to soften it. While many teams worked on different statues at the same time, a single moai took a team of five or six men approximately a year to complete.

Each statue represented the deceased head of a lineage. Only a quarter of the statues were installed. Nearly half remained in the quarry at Rano Raraku, and the rest sat elsewhere, presumably on their way to intended locations.

The largest moai raised on a platform is known as "Paro". It weighs 82 tonnes Possible means by which the statues were moved include employment of a miro manga erua , a Y-shaped sledge with cross pieces, pulled with ropes made from the tough bark of the hau tree [87] and tied around the statue's neck.

Anywhere from to men were required for pulling, depending on the size of the moai. Among other researchers on moving and erecting the moai was Vince Lee who reenacted a moai moving scenario.

Some 50 of the statues were re-erected in modern times. One of the first was on Ahu Ature Huke in Anakena beach in Another method that might have been used would be to attach ropes to the statue and rock it, tugging it forward as it rocked.

This would fit the legend of the Mo'ai 'walking' to their final locations. There is debate regarding the effects of the monument creation process on the environment.

Some believe that the process of creating the moai caused widespread deforestation and ultimately a civil war over scarce resources. In , a large moai statue was excavated from the ground.

Tukuturi , an unusual bearded kneeling moai. All fifteen standing moai at Ahu Tongariki , excavated and restored in the s.

Ahu Akivi , one of the few inland ahu, with the only moai facing the ocean. Ahu are stone platforms. Varying greatly in layout, many were reworked during or after the huri mo'ai or statue-toppling era; many became ossuaries ; one was dynamited open; and Ahu Tongariki was swept inland by a tsunami.

Of the known ahu, carried moai—usually just one, probably because of the shortness of the moai period and transportation difficulties.

Ahu Tongariki , one kilometre 0. Some moai may have been made from wood and were lost. Ahu evolved from the traditional Polynesian marae.

In this context ahu referred to a small structure sometimes covered with a thatched roof where sacred objects, including statues, were stored.

The ahu were usually adjacent to the marae or main central court where ceremonies took place, though on Easter Island ahu and moai evolved to much greater size.

There the marae is the unpaved plaza before the ahu. The filling of an ahu was sourced locally apart from broken, old moai, fragments of which have been used in the fill.

Ahu are found mostly on the coast, where they are distributed fairly evenly except on the western slopes of Mount Terevaka and the Rano Kau and Poike [96] headlands.

These are the three areas with the least low-lying coastal land, and apart from Poike the furthest areas from Rano Raraku. One ahu with several moai was recorded on the cliffs at Rano Kau in the s but had fallen to the beach before the Routledge expedition.

One of the highest-quality examples of Easter Island stone masonry is the rear wall of the ahu at Vinapu. Made without mortar by shaping hard basalt rocks of up to 7 tonnes to match each other exactly, it has a superficial similarity to some Inca stone walls in South America.

Two types of houses are known from the past: Related stone structures called Tupa look very similar to the hare oka , except that the Tupa were inhabited by astronomer-priests and located near the coast, where the movements of the stars could be easily observed.

Settlements also contain hare moa "chicken house" , oblong stone structures that housed chickens. The houses at the ceremonial village of Orongo are unique in that they are shaped like hare paenga but are made entirely of flat basalt slabs found inside Rano Kao crater.

The entrances to all the houses are very low, and entry requires crawling. In early times the people of Rapa Nui reportedly sent the dead out to sea in small funerary canoes, as did their Polynesian counterparts on other islands.

They later started burying people in secret caves to save the bones from desecration by enemies. During the turmoil of the late 18th century, the islanders seem to have started to bury their dead in the space between the belly of a fallen moai and the front wall of the structure.

During the time of the epidemics they made mass graves that were semi-pyramidal stone structures. Petroglyphs are pictures carved into rock, and Easter Island has one of the richest collections in all Polynesia.

Around 1, sites with more than 4, petroglyphs are catalogued. Designs and images were carved out of rock for a variety of reasons: There are distinct variations around the island in the frequency of themes among petroglyphs, with a concentration of Birdmen at Orongo.

Other subjects include sea turtles , Komari vulvas and Makemake , the chief god of the Tangata manu or Birdman cult. Makemake with two birdmen , carved from red scoria.

The island and neighbouring Motu Nui are riddled with caves, many of which show signs of past human use for planting and as fortifications, including narrowed entrances and crawl spaces with ambush points.

Many caves feature in the myths and legends of the Rapa Nui. Easter Island once had an apparent script called rongorongo. Glyphs include pictographic and geometric shapes; the texts were incised in wood in reverse boustrophedon direction.

At that time, several islanders said they could understand the writing, but according to tradition, only ruling families and priests were ever literate, and none survived the slave raids and subsequent epidemics.

Despite numerous attempts, the surviving texts have not been deciphered, and without decipherment it is not certain that they are actually writing.

Part of the problem is the small amount that has survived:

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