Authorities claim that a forest fire that ravaged a portion of Easter Island has damaged some of its enormous moai (carved stone statues).
Local authorities said on Tuesday that another of Easter Island’s renowned moai statues had been discovered by researchers.
Leaders of the community appreciated the information and think it may be crucial to future archaeological discoveries.
Salvador Atan Hito, a representative of the Ma’u Henua Indigenous community that maintains the site, said: “What we’ve seen today is really important since this is part of the history of the Rapa Nui people.
Found Moai In A Barren Lagoon
On February 21, a group of volunteer scientists from three institutions in Chile discovered a moai statue while working on a project to restore marshland inside the Rano Raraku volcano crater after a fire last year damaged many of the statues.
The 1.6-meter (5.2-foot) monument was discovered face up and resting on its side in a dried-up lagoon.
The archaeological site apparently suffered “irreparable” damage when the fire spread over the Rapa Nui national park, 3,500 kilometres (2,175 miles) off the west coast of Chile.
The Rano Raraku sector, which comprises the wetland and moai sector, was devastated to a greater extent than 100 hectares (247 acres), according to a statement posted on the national park’s official Facebook page on Thursday
Carolina Perez, undersecretary for cultural preservation, reported that since Monday, flames had completely destroyed the island, which is located 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles) off the west coast of Chile.
More than 1,000 stone statues, including enormous heads, may be found at Rapa Nui. These statues are thought to have been created by the island’s ancient occupants as early as the 13th century. According to reports, the Rano Raraku volcano area, a Unesco world heritage site, was most impacted.
The quarry where the stone used to carve the sculptures is mined is there, along with an estimated several hundred moai.
The damage was deemed “irreparable” by Ariki Tepano, director of the Ma’u Henua community responsible for the management and upkeep of the park.
The moai are completely scorched, and you can see the fire’s impact on them, the man claimed.
The mayor of Easter Island, Pedro Edmunds Paoa, asserted that he thought the fire “was not an accident” and claimed that “all the fires on Rapa Nui are perpetrated by humans.”
The harm brought on by the fire cannot be repaired, continued Edmunds Paoa. No amount of money, in the millions of euros or dollars, can make up for the fracture of an original and symbolic stone.
Prior to the epidemic, Easter Island, where tourism is the primary source of income, welcomed 160,000 tourists annually via two daily flights.
But after Covid-19 arrived in Chile, all tourist activities were halted.
Polynesians have long lived on the island before Chile conquered it in 1888. The monuments, which previously served as a focal point for communities and were connected to ritual activities, are believed to depict the living ancestors of Easter Island’s Polynesian inhabitants.