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K. Kris Hirst

Mystery of Easter Island - Video Review

By January 14, 2013

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I've seen at least four Easter Island videos that I can remember, and read lots of articles and books--but I have to admit that the 2012 NOVA/National Geographic Mystery of Easter Island is the first one that convinced me of the possible truth of an old legend.

Moving a Moai
Researchers Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo demonstrate how an Easter Island moai might have been moved, in this still from the Mystery of Easter Island. Ben Krueger/National Geographic Television

There's an old oral history on the island of Rapa Nui that says that the ancient megalithic statues called moai walked from their quarries to the platforms where they are aligned today, like sentries watching over the people. So, when at the end of the hour-long video from NOVA/National Geographic comes around, and this experimental moai rocks its way across a field: how could I resist?

Comments

January 21, 2013 at 9:11 am
(1) Lisa says:

I agree! I watched this program with my children and was instantly convinced these researchers were correct. I have seen several other attempts to prove how the Moai were moved. They all seemed clunky and difficult as well as unconvincing. Such an enlightening show!

February 20, 2014 at 12:24 am
(2) Larry says:

For some decades now I’ve always looked forward to Nova as TV at its very best. This one, however, has to be the lamest I’ve ever seen. Here we have 30-40 professional, experienced archeologists, certainly more knowledgeable than I, who here seemed dedicated to demonstrating their stupidity. (Not to go into the phony suspense of “only three hours”, “only one hour”, etc., etc. What is all that about, and why?) At about the half-way point it was obvious that to do this, if it were to be done, would require at least three ropes, not two. Whatever would have made them think they could do it in only two? How could that possibly work? Then why not just one? And why would they start with the premise that it could work? Then, with “only a minute or so to go”, they manage to do it with three ropes. Hallelujah! I guess I’ll have to view future episodes of Nova with considerably greater circumspection.

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