“Explaining how the monumental statues (moai) of Easter Island were transported has remained open to debate and speculation, including their resource expenditures and role in deforestation. Archaeological evidence including analysis of moai variability, particularly those abandoned along ancient roads, indicates transport was achieved in a vertical position. To test this proposition we constructed a precise three-dimensional 4.35 metric ton replica of an actual statue and demonstrate how positioning the center of mass allowed it to fall forward and rock from side to side causing it to ‘walk.’ Our experiments reveal how the statue form was engineered for efficient transport by a small number of individuals.
We show how Easter Island statue variability is explained by transport in a vertical position. ► We ‘walk’ a precise road statue replica demonstrating how form enables vertical transport. ► ‘Walking’ multi-ton statues did not require timber and could be accomplished by relatively small groups” (read more).
***I don’t often post non-Palaeolithic articles, but this was too cool and the images were great.
(Source: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013, in press)