Easter Island

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Moai of Tongariki © Ferdinand Saumarez Smith for Factum Foundation

In early March, a team from Factum Foundation travelled to Easter Island to collaborate on a series of projects with the Museo Antropológico Sebastián Englert. The first items to be recorded were a collection of painted stone panels from the Birdman Cult period that were removed from their original location at a site called Orongo by the Thomson expedition in 1886.

Ferdinand Saumarez Smith recording the painted stone panel © Pedro Miró for Factum Foundation

One of the painted stones in the Museo Antropológico Sebastián Englert © Ferdinand Saumarez Smith for Factum Foundation

© Ferdinand Saumarez Smith for Factum Foundation

The team also recorded the only female Moai on the island of Rapa Nui, some petroglyphs and an unusual object that is believed to be the eye of one of the giant Moai.

The fragile petroglyphs of the Ana Kai Tangata cave, which is currently at risk of irreversible damage due to time and erosion © Ferdinand Saumarez Smith for Factum Foundation

 

The only female Moai sculpture, in the Museo Antropológico Sebastián Englert © Ferdinand Saumarez Smith for Factum Foundation


Following the trip, made possible by a generous donation from Sir Paul Ruddock, further projects at various sites around the island are under discussion with Francisco Torres Hochstetter and members of the Indigenous community who care for the cultural heritage on the island. A training and transfer of skills and technology is also under discussion. In line with Factum Foundation’s policy, all the data recorded belongs in full to the custodians of the objects for all current and future applications.

 

Detail of the 3D render obtained from the recording of the female Moai © Factum Foundation

Detail of the 3D render obtained from the recording of the female Moai © Factum Foundation

Detail of the 3D render obtained from the recording of the female Moai (without colour) © Factum Foundation

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