Main gallery: Rapa Nui National Park.
Main gallery: Moai.
Archivo:Rano Raraku quarry.jpg

Rano Raraku is a volcanic crater formed of consolidated volcanic ash, or tuff, and located on the lower slopes of Terevaka in the Rapa Nui National Park on Easter Island. It was a quarry for about 500 years until the early eighteenth century, and supplied the stone from which about 95% of the island's known monolithic sculpture (Moai) were carved. Rano Raraku is a visual record of Moai design vocabulary and technological innovation, (397 Moai remain there to this day) and is a precious and important part of the Rapanui patrimony.

Rano Raraku is in the world heritage site of Rapa Nui National Park and gives its name to one of the seven sections of the park.

Physical descriptionEditar

The sides of Rano Raraku crater are high and steep except on the north and northwest, where they are much lower and gently sloping. The interior contains one of the island's three freshwater crater lakes, which is bordered by nga'atu or totora reeds. These plants, once thought as evidence of contact with the South American mainland, are now known to have been growing on the island for at least 30,000 years, and were used by the Rapanui for thatched shelter and swimming aids.

Incomplete Moai in the quarryEditar

The incomplete statues in the quarry are remarkable both for their number, for the inaccessibility of some that were high on the outside crater wall and for the size of the largest; At 21,6 m (71 feet) in height almost twice that of any Moai ever completed, and weighing an estimated 270 tonnes, many times the weight of any transported.

Some of the incomplete moai seem to have been abandoned after the carvers encountered inclusions of very hard rock in the material.

Others may be sculptures that were never intended to be separated from the rock in which they are carved.

Standing Moai at Ranu RarakuEditar

On the outside of the quarry are a number of Moai some of which are partially buried to their shoulders in the spoil from the quarry. They are distinctive in that their eyes were not hollowed out, they do not have pukao and they were not cast down in the islands civil wars. For this last reason they supplied some of the most famous images of the island.


Archivo:Kneeled moai Easter Island.jpg
Archivo:Moai Easter Island geod0095.jpg

Tukuturi is an unusual Moai. Its beard and kneeling posture distinguish it from standard moai.

Tukuturi is made of red Scoria from Puna Pau, but sits at Rano Raraku, the Tuff quarry. It is possibly related to the Tangata manu cult, in which case it would be one of the last Moai ever made. [1]


  • P.E. Baker (1968) "Preliminary Account of Recent Geological Investigations on Easter Island." Geological Magazine 104 (2): 116-122
  • J.R. Flenley, S.M. King, J.T. Teller, M.E. Prentice, J. Jackson and C. Chew (1991). "The Late Quaternary Vegetational and Climatic History of Easter Island." Journal of Quarternary Science 6:85-115.

Coordenades: 27° 7′ 26″ S 109° 17′ 10″ O


  1. Jo Anne Van Tilburg (1994). Easter Island Archaeology, Ecology and Culture. page 146
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