Ahu Vinapu: the Last of Easter Island’s Megalithic Walls

The Easter Island Moai statues are so iconic that most people have no idea that there still exists on the island at Ahu Vinapu, very ancient megalithic mortarless walls that may predate the statues themselves. 

Photo by Andrea Vera Sasso

Captain Cook and the British expedition of 1774 marveled at the precision stone megalithic masonry on Easter Island. Cook compared these walls to the best in England. He was particularly impressed by the huge wall at Hanga-roa, which unfortunately no longer exists as the blocks were later used to build a new harbor. Many of the oldest megalithic structures that existed along the cliffs that early explorers such as Captain Cook and William J. Thomson described seeing in the 1700s and 1800s have since disappeared into the sea from the pounding ocean surf and landslides. 

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In 1923, explorer and author J. Macmillan Brown visited Easter island and later stated “The tooling and fitting of cyclopean blocks are exactly the same in Cusco and in Easter Island.”

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Norwegian author & explorer Thor Heyerdahl was the first to conduct major excavations on Easter Island in the 1950’s and he wrote…

“We discovered a megalithic wall of finely hewn and perfectly fitted blocks during our excavations on the landward side of Ahu Naunau. This buried wall was clearly older than the middle period walls visible above ground. Nothing like it was found on a single island in the whole of Polynesia, but it is typical of megalithic walls of South America. The probability is overwhelming that the inspiration came from the nearest continent to the east.“ 

Enjoy the video version below

References can be found in the original series

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