Dear Friends of EISP,
Among the many wonderful insights we have gained during our excavations in Rano Raraku Zone, Interior Quarry Region this new head is the most exciting! Measuring 69cm tall, it is located in Square 6 at a depth of 420cm. When we discovered it the head was standing upright, propped in place with stones, close to the right side of
the moai (RR-001-156). The moai, in turn, is unfinished and standing in a basin cut with great skill and care into the bedrock. There was no intention of moving this moai out of the quarry.
The rounded form of the head and its incised, almond-shaped eye is more in keeping with petroglyph styles that with the elongated, rectilinear style of the moai. However, and as the new 3D imagery created by EISP team member Greg Downing of xRES Studio clearly shows, the head style is also very similar to that of Tukuturi (RR-002-030), the famous kneeling statue uncovered by the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition, 1954-55. This incredible new find means that we will now have to reconsider our ideas of moai style.
Other finds during our 2014 seasons include a large shaped block of coral, an obsidian eye of a small carving, more pigments, basalt and obsidian tools, and a bone fishhook. To date, we have also recovered more than 6,000 stone tools (toki)! The analysis of this incredible amount of material is a huge undertaking, and we are hard at work with colleagues on laboratory studies of obsidian, basalt, wood, and carbon. We’ll keep you informed as we make, quite literally, new headway!
Jo Anne Van Tilburg
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