Archaeologists are piecing together more details about how the Rapanui people once erected the formerly enigmatic stone statues , or moai. Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has no permanent streams, and its three lakes are hard to reach and far from archaeological evidence of settlement. But when European colonists arrived in the late s, thousands of people already lived on the island, and they had to be getting their drinking water somewhere. The resulting mixture would have been brackish but safe to drink, and it could have sustained populations of thousands on an island with few other reliable sources of fresh water. Rapa Nui is the product of overlapping lava flows from a group of volcanoes that began erupting deep beneath the surface of the Pacific about three million years ago. One could get used to the taste, but you certainly learn quickly to access the spots where the best seeps are.
Rano Kau - Wikipedia
By Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline. Easter Island's famous statues are 'tightly linked' to sources of drinkable freshwater, scientists claim. Experts also suggest this means the ancient civilisation was a peaceful and caring society and not a warmongering barbaric society, as has previously been suggested. Study co author Dr Terry Hunt, of the University of Arizona, said: 'The monuments and statues are located in places with access to a resource critical to islanders on a daily basis - fresh water.
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Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When it comes to Easter Island 's towering stone heads, there's now one fewer mystery to solve. Researchers have long puzzled over why the huge statues were placed where they are. However, a new study says the people of Rapa Nui, as the island is called in the local language, positioned them near sources of humanity's most vital resource: fresh water. Archaeologists studied the location of the statues, or moai, and the platforms on which many of them stand, known as ahu.
Ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui Easter Island maintained a society of thousands by utilizing coastal groundwater discharge as their main source of "freshwater," according to new research from a team of archaeologists including faculty at Binghamton University, State University at New York. The team, which included Binghamton University Professor of Anthropology Carl Lipo, measured the salinity of coastal water around the island of Rapa Nui, in order to determine whether or not the water close to the shores had a salt concentration low enough for humans to safely drink. The process of coastal groundwater discharge makes it possible for humans to collect drinkable freshwater directly where it emerges at the coast of the island. By measuring the percentage of salt in the coastal waters, and finding it safe for human consumption, and by eliminating other options as primary sources of drinking water, the researchers concluded that groundwater discharge was a critical factor in the sustenance of the large population the island is thought to have harbored. When tides are low, this results in the flow of freshwater directly into the sea.