This book by Heyerdahl has huge amounts of data and plentiful illustrations. Of course I can use only a fraction of this material here. I will present here only selected images from his book, the ones that make it pretty clear what this matter is all about. These images are now available on the Internet for the first time.
|The statue was found at the southeast corner of the volcano Rano Raraku, where the island tradition holds that the first quarry on EI was located. Here's the statue as it was found in the ground. (Illustrated on p. 196 of EASTER ISLAND.)|
|And this is another statue. It comes from South America. As Heyerdahl says in his book, "Kneeling statues were among the most typical monuments of pre-Inca time." The one you see here is now located in La Paz, Bolivia. This is a statue typical of the ancient Tiahuanaco culture in S. America. "It was not only the kneeling attitude with hands on knees that matched the new find on Easter Island, but also the facial expression, the characteristic shape of the eyes, mouth, and the goatee." (Illustrated on p. 199 of EASTER ISLAND.) It is interesting that the prominent ribs that you see on the statue from S. America are also well attested in some other statues from EI.|
|These wall paintings from the Easter Island were discovered in the excavations of the very old houses of Orongo. They most likely symbolize rain coming from the Sun-God. And they are also generally considered typical of the Tiahuanaco civilization of South America. According to Heyerdahl, "Whenever this motif is found on the pre-Inca coast of the mainland, it is interpreted as indicative of influence from Tiahuanaco. Why not when it is found on Easter Island?" These types of images are virtually identical to those from S. America. So how can this sort of evidence be denied? (Illustrated on p. 165 of EASTER ISLAND.)|
|This photo is also available from the Kon-Tiki Museum site in Oslo. This rock-carving is one of the best examples of Easter Island portrayals of Bird-men. (The same photo is printed on p. 149 of EASTER ISLAND.) Here you see a pair of mythological creatures, half-man, and half-bird. Nothing similar has ever been found on the other Polynesian islands outside of Rapanui.|
|So here's a good example of a Bird-man relief from S. America. "The pair of crouching bird-men depicted on a ceramic bead from the island of Puna off the northern coast of the Inca empire bear a striking resemblance to their EI counterparts." As Heyerdahl says in the book, "This cannot be explained away as a coincidence." (The photo is shown as printed on p. 149. of Heyerdahl's book, next to the previous photo.)|
|Old "paenga stones" were often dug out of earlier foundations and reused in the Middle Period of the Easter Island's history as building blocks in ahu (stone platform) walls. This suggests that the first boat-shaped houses with paenga foundations date back to the early period of habitation.|
|Excavations of the pre-Inca image platforms at Tiahuanaco, in what is now Bolivia, have uncovered stones remarkably like the paenga of Easter Island. This photo from S. America features two stones that are very similar to the paenga stones from Easter Island.|
|And this is one of those famous megalithic walls of Easter Island. Stonemasons who built them were highly sophisticated. These building blocks are fitted together with such precision that they don't need any mortar to stay together. These giant stone slabs weigh on average about 7 tons. Closest parallels to such amazing constructions exist in S. America.|
For more detailed information about EI -- S. American links, look up this other Easter Island webpage of mine.
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