| Breakfast: ||Local Continental-Style Breakfast at Hotel Otai|
| Morning: ||Class: Welcome and Introduction to Rapa Nui History and Archaeology.
After our morning introductory class, we will depart on a field trip to Tahai, Ahu Vaihu, Rano Raraku, and Tongariki.
Our first stop is at Tahai for an introduction to the famous monoliths of Rapa Nui, including Ahu Vai Ure, which is topped by 5 moai; Ahu Tahai (AD680); and Ahu Ko te Riku (12th century AD), a 15.5 ft. high 20 ton moai which is topped by a pukao (red scoria top knot). These three ahu, all facing inland, are part of one ceremonial compound which was restored in the 1960’s by the late archaeologist, William Mulloy. Located near Hanga Roa at the edge of the ocean, the area also has excellent examples of hare paenga (boat-shaped house foundations), hare moa (chicken houses), umu (earth ovens), occupation caves and a boat ramp, which will give us insight into the kinds of archaeological sites we may find as part of our service work.
We then drive down the South Coast, past many collapsed ahu, toppled moai, and fallen stone fences built by the sheep company towards Rano Raraku, the quarry from which most Rapa Nui moai were carved, and to Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu (temple platform) on the island. We’ll stop along the way at Ahu Vaihu, which is constructed of finely crafted stones and is located at Hanga Te`e, a small bay. The ahu has 11 toppled moai whose pukao (top knots) are lying where they fell, and a circle of rocks on the ground, used for paina ceremonies to honor the dead. Further east are Ahu Ura Ura Hanga O Te Mahina, and across a small bay, Ahu Akahanga. These ahu are connected with the legend of Hotu Matu`a, the island’s first ariki (high chief). We then depart for Rano Raraku, the quarry of the moai.
| Lunch: ||Picnic Lunch at Rano Rarku, the quarry of the moai.|
| Afternoon: ||After lunch, we climb the hill to view the quarry from which the massive moai were carved out of the soft scoria. Moai in all stages of carving cover its southern flank, unfinished giants still imprisoned in stone, including the largest one ever attempted, which is 70 feet long! More than 394 moai were in the process of being carved when the work on them mysteriously ceased. The upright moai around the quarry slopes have been partially buried by hundreds of years of silt and erosion of the mountain slopes. They were placed in the upright position so that the carving of their backs could be completed. Time permitting, those who wish can hike to the rim of the volcano’s crater for a breathtaking view of the island and to see the caldera’s lake, the totora reeds from which rafts or boats were created, additional moai located on the crater’s interior walls, and part of the prehistoric engineering works used to slide the statues down the slopes. Not far from Rano Raraku is Tongariki, our furthest point in today’s explorations.
Demolished before having been restored in 1960 by the tremendous force of a Pacific tsunami (tidal wave) generated by an earthquake in Valdivia (southern Chile), Tongariki was restored by Chilean archaeologist Claudio Cristino & later Sergio Rapu, with the help of Japanese archaeologists and the Rapa Nui people, so it now supports 15 moai from various eras. There is evidence that through the years more than thirty moai stood on the ahu, though not all at once. Also located here are petroglyphs of a turtle, a tuna fish, a birdman, faces of a Rapa Nui traditional god, Makemake, and designs similar to those found on rongo rongo boards.|
| Dinner: ||Dinner at hotel.|