RECORD OF MULTIPLE AND INTEGRATED LAND USE ACTIVITIES, AND IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE OF EASTER ISLAND STATUE QUARRY
A palm-rich forest dominated before human activity in the quarry basin, but rapid denudation of the landscape occurred as trees were removed and quarries were opened. Age control on erosional and depositional events comes from obsidian hydration and AMS radiocarbon dates and reveals that quarry activity lasted two to three centuries, ca. 1200 AD to 1450 AD, and that this was coupled to erosional dissection of a thick soil profile. Gullying resulted in localized depocenters for quarry-related debris deposits that subsequently were buried by colluvium and have high preservation potential. Stratigraphic, soil micromorphological, and paleobotanical data reveal that cessation of quarry activity led to fairly rapid burial of slopes, including deep burial of upright moai, by discrete pulses of colluvial deposition. Moai were not intentionally buried in a single event. Within two to three centuries, slopes were largely buried and had become relatively stabilized, while horticulture continued within the basin beyond European contact at 1722 AD.