Extraordinary archeological find in Rano Raraku lagoon

Product of the fire registered in the Rano Raraku volcano, on October 4, a team of volunteer scientists from the University of Chile, U. Andrés Bello and U. O'higgins, came to Rapa Nui to collaborate with Ma'u Henua and Conaf, in the recovery of the wetland. On Monday, February 20, these volunteers were working inside the crater of this site, when they unexpectedly found a possible moai, so they notified it.

The Heritage and Conservation Unit of the Ma'u Henua Indigenous Community went to inspect the ground and make the archaeological report, realizing that this vestige is inside the lagoon / wetland of the Rano Raraku quarry, which is now dry, which allowed the finding, and verify the presence of a lapilli tuff moai, in a fair to poor state of conservation, because the rock is very fragile. It measures 160 centimeters long and 90 centimeters wide, full-bodied with recognizable features, but not clearly defined. Its main facial attributes are identified despite being very eroded. This vestige is semi-buried, with upper section facing north, facing towards the zenith.

This Moai has a high potential for scientific and natural study, it is a very unique finding, because it is the first discovery of a Moai inside the lagoon of the Rano Raraku quarry, something never seen, there being no records of any kind, which account for a discovery with similar characteristics. Their study could generate another perspective of the history we know and how our ancestors used this cultural settlement and resources, as well as ideological and ritual transformations over time, which depended strictly on environmental/climatic changes in Rapa Nui, which directly affected this wetland, which underwent changes over the years.  going through periods of drought and empozamiento. Very relevant becomes the lifting of oral tradition, of our wise men and Honui who, through their history and ancestral songs, can provide better and greater knowledge about this extraordinary finding that fills our Rapanui people with pride.

Due to the importance of this discovery, and the potential described above, the Ma'u Henua Indigenous Community, administrator of the Rapa Nui National Park, where Rano Raraku is located, is looking for resources that allow a finished study around this finding, meanwhile, the site where the moai rests is protected.