Easter Island

The Easter Island heads, or Moai, were carved by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500 A.D. and depict the faces of deified ancestors.

This photo shows one of the quarries where the Moai were carved. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main Moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone plinths called ahu around the island's perimeter.

All the statues and plinths face inland with the exception of one plinth with 7 statues that face west to sea. These represent the 7 original men who found the island.

The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island in 1722, but all of them had fallen by the latter part of the 19th century. A major restoration project began in 1955 and the Rapa Nui National Park is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.