I recently posted this article about the Timexpo Museum in Waterbury, so I’ve been in sort of an Easter Island frame of mind. I guess I can relate to giant moai, what with having a big head and all myself …
As coincidence would have it, less that 24 hours after I was done writing about how the owners of the Timexpo museum (and of Timex Watches) were good friends and supporters of Easter Island researcher Thor Heyerdahl, I came across this story talking about the latest findings in regard to how the enormous stone sculptures were moved around the island.
The debate, from the article:
Many researchers have long believed the island’s complex network of roads was built, beginning 800 years ago, specifically to transport the moai. The theory was that statues found lying on their backs and faces near the roads were abandoned during transportation.
But archeologists with University College London and the University of Manchester said Wednesday the roads were built primarily for ceremonial purposes.
Manchester’s Colin Richards and UCL’s Sue Hamilton used geophysical survey equipment to pass electrical currents below the ground and measure its resistance. That allowed them to create subsurface maps that suggested the statues were not abandoned, but toppled from platforms with the passage of time.
I guess I never gave it much thought, but those big rocks probably weren’t just conveniently sitting in the proper places when the natives of the island were ready to turn them into works of art and worship. Ditto the pyramids, Stonehenge and all other ancient structures made of stone.
In 2003, Dr. Jonathan Rothberg decided he wanted to build an observatory on his property but was thwarted by the local zoning board. Being resourceful, he instead circumvented the board and commissioned renowned architect Cesar Pelli to design an astronomically correct and working replica of Stonehenge, an enormous celestial clock using 700 tons of granite . . . as a pure work of art.
According to the New York Times story linked above, Dr. Rothberg said, “My position is, if I put up a piece of art, I don’t need permission.”
Man, I love that story. I don’t know Dr. Rothberg personally, but he sounds like my kind of ingenious Yankee! Although, unlike the residents of Easter Island, he didn’t have to come up with creative ways to haul tons of stone over great distances — he just paid a few truckers and crane operators!
Anyway, if you just can’t get enough Connecticut head, you can always check out our article about the world’s largest jack-in-the-box — made with a freakishly huge replica of Claribel the Clown’s head — which is located in Middletown. That’s about 30 miles away from my house, but it’s still closer than I want to be to a giant clown head. Just sayin’.