Brigadoon - An Occasional Corner on the Internet
Designed by Mark Little
South America January to April 2017
Puna Pau is a quarry in a cinder cone on the outskirts of Hango Roa and was the sole source for the red scoria that was used to carve the topknots (pukao) that was placed on some of the heads of the iconic moai statues.
The scoria was also used to carve some non-standard moai including the Tukuturi moai located in the tuff quarry at Rano Rarku.
In the image below, Mark examines an abandoned topknot on the way up the hill to the quarry.
The slot in the bottom of the topknot was used as part of the keying mechanism that was used to keep the topknot in place on the moai.
It may be noticed that the shape of the abandoned topknots is different to the topknots on the completed moai.
This is because the carving of the upper part of the topknot was not completed until the statue was in place.
As hown in the phot below a numbert stones were covered in Petroglyphs, but there were no signs that explained the meaning of the symbols. Still, it was interesting looking at them.
Up over the hill shown in the first photo above is the quarry where the scoria blocks were cut from the crater. Laying around in the crater is what appears to be a worked rock wall and some abandonded cylinders of scoria that would have been made into the topknots. Mark commented that he was glad he would not be one of the people who had to get those stones out of the crater and down the hill on the other side.