JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Easter Island statues. A row of neolithic moai statues on Easter Island in the South Pacific. The statues on Easter Island, called moai by the Polynesians, were carved from volcanic rock by the islanders between 400 and 1500 A.D. By 1500 about 1000 statues had been carved and 324 erected. The largest is 37 feet tall and weighs 85 tonnes. Carving and erection ceased because of the total deforestation of the island. This was caused partly by use of trees as rollers and levers for erecting the statues. Deforestation led to soil erosion, starvation, civil war and eventually to the complete collapse of the island's culture. Photographed at Ahu Akivi, Easter Island.
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