DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID NUNUK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Easter Island statues. Row of megalithic moai statues on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the South Pacific. The statues top an ahu (burial platform) and look inland from beside the sea. This is Ahu Tongariki. These megaliths were carved from volcanic rock by the islanders from 400-1500 AD. Around 1000 statues were carved, with about 100 of these re- erected by archaeologists. They are 3-12 metres tall and weigh up to 85 tonnes. Carving and erection ceased with the deforestation of the island, partly to provide rollers and levers to erect the statues. This led to soil erosion, starvation, civil war and the collapse of the island's culture and ecosystem.
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