Easter Island study enters new phase

Feb 17, 2011

A team of archaeologists studying the famous statues dotting the landscape of a tiny Pacific island have been awarded two thirds of a million pounds by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The AHRC award of just over £640,000 will allow project directors Professor Sue Hamilton, from University College London and Dr. Colin Richards from The University of Manchester, to continue their groundbreaking study of .

AHRC Principal Investigator Professor Hamilton and Dr. Richards will continue their task of unravelling the mystery of the stone statues - or moai - dotted around the coastline of the island.

They lead the first British archaeological team working on the island for 90 years.

The project aims to understand the organization and meaning of the moai, quarries, transport roads, and stone platforms in an island-wide programme of landscape study, survey and excavation.

They will aim to understand the role of the constructions as part of a complex of activities on the Island known as Rapa Nui in Polynesian.

The AHRC described the Rapa Nui project as 'an outstanding proposal, meeting world-class standards of scholarship, originality, quality and significance'.

Explore further: Oldest DNA ever found sheds light on humans' global trek

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