The huge stone figures of Easter Island have deceived explorers, researchers and the world in general for centuries, but now experts say they have discovered one of the greatest mysteries: why statues are where they are.
Researchers say they have analyzed the locations of the megalithic platforms, or, in which many of the statues are known as moai sit, as well as the scrutiny sites of the island’s resources, and have discovered that the structures are typically found near fresh water sources. Water .
They say that the finding supports the idea that aspects of the construction of platforms and statues, such as their size, could be linked to the abundance and quality of such supplies.
“The important thing about this is that it shows that the locations of the statues in themselves are not a strange ritual place – [the ahu and the moai] represent the ritual in the sense that they have a symbolic meaning, but are integrated into the lives from the community., “said Professor Carl Lipo of Binghamton University in New York, who co-authored the research.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has more than 300 megalithic platforms, each of which could have been created by a separate community. It is believed that the first of these was built in the 13th century, and many were found around the coast.
It is believed that the monuments represented the ancestors and were linked to ritual activity, forming a focal point for the communities, but the reason for their location was previously a mystery. While studies have suggested that the sites may have been chosen because of a link to key resources, the team says the most recent research is the first attempt to analyze such claims.
The team focused on the east of the island, where several resources have been mapped, and observed the distribution of 93 megalithic platforms built before European sailors appeared in the 18th century.
After not finding any link with the proximity of the rock used for tools or for the monuments, they observed if the ahu were close to other important resources: gardens with stones in which crops such as sweet potato were cultivated, fishing-related sites and sources. of fresh water.