Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Island, South Pacific

Easter Island is a small, remote island is the South Pacific. It is famous for its mysterious giant stone heads and a strange writing system, both made by Stone Age people.

Easter Island lies 2,393 miles west of Chile and nearly half as far from Pitcairn, the nearest inhabited island.

Polynesians settled on Easter more than a thousand years ago. Their descendants built great stone burial platforms around the coast. On these they raised immense carved human heads, each weighing up to 50 tons. The Easter Islanders probably achieved this with just stone picks, ropes, ramps and pebble rollers. Easter Islanders also divided the rongorongon picture script, which no one can now decipher.

By 1872 wars, slave raids and disease had almost wiped out islanders. But legends and finds of ancient tools have helped archaeologists piece together some of the island's past.

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