The allure of Easter Island

Travel Destinations — By on July 23, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Easter Island may not have been voted in as one of the world’s new seven wonders recently, but that doesn’t lessen the allure of the place for those travelers willing to make the long journey to this Pacific island. David Swanson recently wrote for the Boston Globe about his own experiences there.

Travel to the ends of the earth and one discovers there are still mysteries to be solved.

Deep in the South Pacific, 2,500 miles west of continental South America, lies Easter Island, a remote Chilean outpost dotted with stone statues. I landed here with a vague comprehension of the island’s mysteries.

How were its enigmatic sculptures, weighing as much as 82 tons, transported from a volcanic quarry to their sacred ceremonial platforms miles away? Who were the statues meant to represent, and what’s with the round red hats — decidedly un-Polynesian — some statues wore? And why, between the first European contact on Easter Sunday in 1722 and Captain James Cook’s visit 52 years later, were most of the stone heads toppled?

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