Ahu Tongariki

Top choice archaeological site in Northeast Circuit

The monumental Ahu Tongariki has plenty to set your camera's flash popping. With 15 imposing statues, it is the largest ahu ever built. The statues gaze over a large, level village site, with ruined remnants scattered about and some petroglyphs nearby; some figures include a turtle with a human face, a tuna fish and a birdman motif.

The site was restored by a Japanese team between 1992 and 1996. A 1960 tsunami had flattened the statues and scattered several topknots far inland. Only one topknot has been returned to its place atop a moai.


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