Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Site Preservation Initiative Partnership
Jo Anne Van Tilburg and Cristián Arévalo Pakarati lead an all-Rapa Nui crew and core staff consisting of Dario Ika Paoa, excavator; Patricio Rodrigo Madariaga Paoa, excavator; Vaiheri Tuki Haoa, photographer; and Rosa Lucía Ika Paoaand Anastasia Ika Paoa, logistics and support.
We have been joined seasonally by Carlos Rapu Rapu, Benjamin Mihaore Pakarati González, Ana Pakarati Icka, Margarita Pakarati, and Melisanda Pakarati;
Rapa Nui students in archaeology and conservation, some of whom are from Universidad Internacional SEK, include Isaías Hey Gonzáles, Joaquin Soler Hotu, Rafael Paoa Rapu, Tiktehatu Astete Paoa and Felipé Rubio Munita.
EISP staff who have worked on the excavation include Alice Hom (2010) and Kim Anh Hoang (2011).
Volunteers include Tokerau Pakarati Icka, Hotu Pakarati Icka, and Johannes Van Tilburg, FAIA. CONAF employees, especially Pablo Hito, have all been present or involved at one time or another.
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative
Season V Excavation Summary
RR-001-156 and Square 4, RR-001-157
Jo Anne Van Tilburg
This report is another in a series of reports dealing with the excavation of statues RR-001-156 and RR-001-157 in Rano Raraku quarry, Rapa Nui, Chile. The previous reports were filed with the appropriate Chilean and Rapa Nui agencies and also provided to the general public on the Easter Island Statue Project web site (www.eisp.org). This report deals with the continuing excavation of statue RR-001-156 to the base and Square 4 of RR-001-157. These activities took place during Season V (November 2011) of the Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative.
Save the Easter Island Statues
Through a methodical archaeological survey we have accomplished the digital mapping of Rano Raraku statue quarry, documented over one thousand statues throughout the entire island and created the world’s largest archaeological archive describing the statues.
Working with scientific colleagues at The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and with conservators from Chile’s Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración. We are excavating and conserving statues in Rano Raraku interior quarry. Knowledge gained there will allow preservation of other statues throughout the island.
In 2008, our work was rewarded with a grant from the Site Preservation Task Force of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA; www.archaeological.org).
A wonderful AIA grant jumpstarted our conservation initiative. EISP has no endowment. Our only source of income is grants and U.S. tax deductible contributions. We also enjoy profit sharing through sales of contemporary indigenous art in our Mana Gallery on Easter Island.
Please join us in A Monumental Task, become a Friend of EISP!
—Jo Anne Van Tilburg
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report
Project Target Statues
The target statues from the inception of this project are RR-001-156 and RR-001-157, both of which are located within Quarry 2 of Rano Raraku. RR-001-158 is adjacent to Quarry 2 on the eastward side and was selected by the conservators as a study control. All of these designations are given on EISP Map Sheet 1 (Van Tilburg and Arévalo Pakarati 2009). Rano Raraku, the quarry in which fully 95% of the known 1,042 monolithic sculptural objects documented to date by this project were carved, is a unit of the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF; www.conaf.cl) and, as such, a World Heritage site.
Environmental Monitoring and Conservation Mission
Dr. Christian Fischer and Ms. Monica Bahamondez P.
May 14- 26
The main objectives of this mission, carried out with the assistance of Cristián Arévalo Pakarati, Rafael Paoa Rapu and Vaiheri Tuki Haoa, were firstly, to apply the protective treatment on statues RR-001-157 and RR-001-156 currently being excavated by EISP and secondly, to start the Toki Sourcing Project by analyzing the elemental composition of the ‘toki’ found during the excavation using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report
This report is the third in a series documenting the implementation of permitted excavations in Rano Raraku quarry on target statues RR-001-156 and RR-001-157 . Specifically, this report deals with the third excavation season, or Phase 3, and is focused specifically on RR-001-156. The conservation follow-up work that is anticipated for March, 2011 will be conducted by Dr. Christian Fischer and documented by him in a separate report.
The target statue for this season is RR-001-156. It was previously excavated by the Mana Expedition to Easter Island in 1914-15 (Routledge 1919). According to Routledge’s unpublished notes, “at the start, the statue was buried to a line midway between the lobe of the ear and the angle of the jaw” (NGS/WKR). Two separate excavations, both of which were haphazard and are poorly documented, were made of the dorsal side of the statue. The first excavation reached “to a depth of 16 feet measuring from the crown of the head.” The second excavation at the back was made “to extend the first excavation to 10 feet from the statue back” simply to take photographs. At the front, excavation reached “to the navel.” Our Historic Level Book provides a synopsis of the excavations and the objects collected.
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report October-November 2010
This report is a preliminary statement of the tasks undertaken and goals achieved during the second field season of Phase 2 of the Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative. Phase 1 took place in April, 2010 and a full report of that work is on file with the appropriate agencies. This report is a detailed overview but not a final, scientific analysis or synthesis of our findings. That will be produced at the end of the combined work planned for Phase 3 and Phase 4, which entails the similar excavation and study of Moai RR-001-156.
The Conservation Initiative is funded by the Archaeological Institute of America, and its intent is a scientific evaluation of the state of preservation, above and below ground, of the two statues described here (RR-001-156 and RR-001-157). In addition, the Conservation Initiative will monitor and collect scientific data on the discrete environmental contexts of the two statues. These data will be employed to determine the course of stone stabilization treatment to be embarked upon for each statue, and how that treatment may or may not be generalized to other statues.
Easter Island Statue Project Conservation Initiative Preliminary Report March-April, 2010
This project is the first controlled, scientific archaeological excavations ever undertaken in the interior of Rano Raraku Quarry. It is also the first stone conservation and preservation pilot program in Rano Raraku.
All but one of the 22 standing statues (moai) in Rano Raraku Quarry interior have been previously exposed through unscientific and undocumented digging. The Target Statues for this project (RR-001-156 and RR-001-157) have been dug or otherwise disturbed by the Mana Expedition (1914), the Franco-Belgian Expedition (1935), and the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition (1954-55).
The Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) has a 20 year history of archaeological survey on Easter Island (Rapa Nui), the objective of which is the creation of a full and complete, island-wide monolithic and portable statue inventory and the compilation of an historical image record for each statue. Prior to the selection of Quarry Two for the excavations described here, the EISP team completed a five year mapping foray in the interior of Rano Raraku, the volcanic quarry from which 95 percent of the extant monolithic sculpture were produced (Van Tilburg 1994; Van Tilburg, Arévalo Pakarati and Alice Hom 2008).
In June, 2009, Christian Fischer, Research Associate of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA and Mónica Bahamondez P., Centro Nacional de Conservación y Restauración joined Jo Anne Van Tilburg and Cristián Arévalo Pakarati (of EISP) in the field on Rapa Nui. Our immediate goal was a fact-finding and reconnaissance field study that would acquaint our colleagues on the AIA Project with the island sites and objects that are target concerns of our upcoming conservation work.
In the interior of Rano Raraku quarry, EISP has mapped and documented every statue in each of their various carving phases, as well as the independent histories of the individual quarries. Two statues, famously dubbed “Papa” and “Mama” by Katherine Pease Routledge, co-leader of the Mana Expedition to Easter Island, 1919, were the immediate focus of our attention. We studied specific issues of stone faulting and breakage, and planned a strategy for environmental monitoring, which will be carried out during 2009-2010. [Read More...]
January 5, 2009
Boston – The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology, has selected the monolithic sculptures (moai) of Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile, and national park as its second site preservation project. With a grant to the Easter Island Statue Project from the organization’s AIA Site Preservation Task Force, the Project will develop stone preservation techniques to arrest the rapid deterioration of these statues as a result of the fragile nature of their volcanic stone, climate change, and tourism. The Easter Island Statue Project is directed by UCLA archaeologist Jo Anne Van Tilburg and co-directed by Cristían Arévalo Pakarati.