University College London/Manchester - Long faces as theory topples

A 50-year-old theory about how the famous stone statues of Easter Island were moved around has been disproved by academics. A network of ancient roads criss-crosses the Pacific island, flanked by dozens of fallen statues, which are known as moai. Since the 1950s, it has been argued that the statues found on their backs and faces near the roads were abandoned during transportation. But this theory has been refuted by a team from University College London and the University of Manchester after new fieldwork on the island. The researchers found stone platforms associated with each fallen moai, suggesting that the routes were primarily ceremonial avenues and that the figures had merely fallen off their pedestals over time.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Woman taking homeopathic medicine

Alternative treatments in healthcare plan is latest in a series of homeopathy-related controversies

  • Man lying beneath rugby pile-up

Six academics share their experiences before delivering a verdict on the system

  • Zygmunt Bauman with hand over mouth

Eminent sociologist has recycled 90,000 words of material across a dozen books, claims paper

  • Foot about to step on banana peel

Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle offer tips on making postgraduate study even tougher (which students could also use to avoid pitfalls if they prefer)

  • Sorana Vieru, National Union of Students

Sorana Vieru says exams and essays 'privilege' more advantaged students, calls for changes to 'Middle Ages' format