Anakena Beach, Easter Island, Chile
Anakena beach onto which Polynesian King Hoku Matua, the first colonist stepped, sometime between 100 AD and 1200 AD.
Evidence of social self-destruction dimissed
Anakena beach’s moai; note the funky hats and the fine un-eroded features thanks to a few hundred years buried under sand – later revived and re-established by Thor Heyerdahl. They also have the finest back carvings of all Rapa Nui moai.
Recent archeological excavations have determined that before foreign intrusion:
a) there was no sign of starvation or cannibalism
b) there were plenty of trees left; they started with 16 million and needed a maximum of 100, 000 for moai transportation
c) natives were clever ‘gardeners’, protecting soil with scattered volcanic rocks (known as lithic mulching) and growing trees and root vegetables in rock wall protected gardens, using charcoal as fertiliser
d) they moved moai in two different ways according to the destination. One method, for ‘road’ transport, was an upright rocking motion controlled by ropes around the neck of the moai.