TQ 2010 Memory Book - The Moai of Rapa Nui - landonnoll

Ahu Tongariki Ahu

The Ahu (stone platforms) of Rapa Nui were often more than just a place on which the Moai rested. Many Ahu became ossuaries containing human skeletal remains.

While the Ahu of Rapa Nui varied across the island, they often adhered to several design elements. The front wall was made from rectangular basalt slabs called Paenga. Platforms built after 1300 CE used red Scoria façade over the front wall. The taller rear wall of the Ahu faced the sea.

The Ahu had an inland facing sloping ramp, extended sideways and outward like wings. Many even-sized round water-warn stones called Poro were placed on these ramps. These Poro served as a kind of census with each stone representing an extended family tree.

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