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Settled by the Polynesians, sometime around AD600, this tiny speck of land, with its limited natural resources, was the scene of the development of some of the most mysterious and awe-inspiring prehistoric art. The best known expressions of cultural development on Rapa Nui are the famous monolithic statues known as maoi, the monolithic altars (ahu) and a type of hieroglyphic script (rongo rongo), which has not yet been deciphered. The real mystery of the island lies not so much in the maoi and the techniques for their ...

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