Ahu Huri a Urenga
The moai statue with two pairs of hands
The Ahu Huri a Urenga is one of the 25 platforms that are not found in the coast, but in the interior of the island and corresponds to an agricultural zone, of human settlements.
The ahu was restored by William Mulloy in 1976, within his works of recovery of the archaeological heritage. It is a platform 13 meters long by 4 meters wide, with a single moai that has the peculiarity of presenting two pairs of hands.
It is not known exactly why it is so designed. It is presumed that it could have been engraved twice or that, due to the wear of its base, product of the transfer from Rano Raraku, new arms were carved so that it was proportional to the rest of the body. Another possibility is that this form represented some deformity that could affect in the time in which it was sculpted.
On the back of the ahu there is a cremation platform, a position that is repeated in most of the island’s ahu. It is believed that this structure was used for funeral rituals.
An astronomical observatory
At the entrance to the site is a water well and some stone holes used to accumulate rainwater. The incredible thing about this place is that these perforations served to reflect the stars predicting cycles and seasons, which contributed to the great archaeological-astronomical legacy of the ancient natives.
Another particular feature of the Ahu Huri a Urenga is that both the platform and the moai look exactly at where the sun rises during the austral winter solstice (June 21st). The platform is also in line with two neighboring hills, Maunga Mataengo and Maunga Tararaina, as well as with two nearby ahu of smaller size.
That is why it is believed that it was a solar observatory that played an important role in the Rapanui calendar. This not only marked the beginning of the winter (toga), also marked the beginning of different tapu or prohibitions that regulated the fishing and other activities in the island.
How to get to the Ahu Uri a Urenga
To get to Ahu Huri to Urenga, take the road from Hanga Roa in the direction of Anakena and take the turning to the left where a sign says “Hanga Roa 3”. The platform is located 100 meters by this detour, on the left. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the light conditions are optimal.
The Ahu Uri a Urenga is located within a private property and is not part of the Rapa Nui National Park, so it is not necessary to present the ticket. The access, which is free, is made through a turnstile located in the wall that protects the enclosure. Please keep respect, since it is a sacred place.