THE MARAE OF THE LAND TI’I-RUA
Erected on the land Ti’i-rua (“double divinity”), the marae is oriented towards the summit Mou’a Roa (“high mountain”).
The archaeological excavations by R.C. Green show that men lived in this place way before the construction of the marae : many traces of domestic life cover four settlement periods (postholes for houses, pits for food preservation, hearths, …).
According to radiocarbon dating, the marae was built between the middle of the XVth and the beginning of the XVIth century, during the ’Ātiro’o period.
Then, from the architectural elements it can be assumed that the marae was extended. During the last period, by the end of the XVIIIth century, worked round stones were introduced into the marae walls.
The 36m-long surrounding wall is made of basalt blocks. The partially paved courtyard, is raised by a former landfill. It contains 15 ’ōfa’i ti’a (upright stones), 2 ’ōfa’i turu’i (backrests), and 3 cists bordered by coral slabs.
Thin coral slabs that adorned the facing of the ahu, have disappeared.
Two human skeletons were discovered in an exterior angle of the surrounding wall. These remains, that date back to the same period as the construction of the marae may be sacrificial ones.