7.15.2009

Experts Discover 6km. of Caves in Easter Island

·Cave System Said To Be 11th Largest In The World.
http://www.santiagotimes.cl/santiagotimes/index.php/2009070616624/news/cultural-news/experts-discover-six-kilometers-of-caves-in-easter-island.html

[Ceiling painting @ Ana Kai Tangata. Photo by stevesheriw]


A team of experts recently discovered a six-kilometer-long lava cave system on Easter Island thought to have been used as a refuge by the island’s inhabitants during the 16th century. The team confirmed it is the largest cave on the island and the 11th-largest in the world in terms of area.
[...]
Cave experts, or speleologists, confirmed the caves were used by inhabitants of the island as refuge from tribal wars at a time when society was on the verge of collapse as a result of infighting, severe environmental degradation caused by deforestation, droughts, and famine.
[...]
“It has been a revelation,” said Enrique Tucki, administrator of the Rapa Nui National Park. “We knew these caves existed – they have been there for centuries – but we had not taken into account their variety, quantity, and peculiarity.”
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