Evoke Inca Walls

On the southeastern coast, there are two ceremonial centers located very close to each other, Ahu Tahiri (Vinapu I)and Ahu Vinapu II.  There may also be a third Ahu (ceremonial platform), possibly the most ancient one, of which only a pile of rocks remains.  The area around these Ahu was intervened in 1968-69 as a result of the installation of the fuel tanks for the airport.

Ahu Tahiri has one of the best examples of megalithic construction on the entire Island, reminiscent of the Incan constructions in Peru, and on which the explorer Thor Heyerdahl based his theory of South American Inca migration to Rapa Nui. Carbon-14 measurements have indicated that this platform was built around the year 700 A.D. and, apparently, only for ceremonial purposes.  Later residents of the area decided to raise six statues brought from the quarry at Rano Raraku, which, according to observations by the Belgian archaeologist Métraux, were painted red. 

The architectural perfection of Ahu Tahiri, or Vinapu I, is in great contrast with the neighboring Ahu Vinapu II, which is clearly inferior.  Behind this latter platform, a wall of earth encloses a circular area which may have been used as a theatre for native ceremonies.  In this area between 1955 -56, archaeologists discovered an unusual sculpted pillar or column made of volcanic scoria that was around two meters (6 feet) high and which had feminine features.  It was re-erected by the American archaeologist William Mulloy and identified as a sculpture with two heads which was supposed to have served as a pillar for cremations.