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The Polynesian unique improvement.
- Constructed on:
- Coastal land tiles
- +1 Culture
- +1 additional Culture for each adjacent Moai
- +1 Gold after researching Flight
Moai are excellent improvements for Polynesian players to build along the coastline of their territory. In addition to generating Culture (and later Gold), they help the Polynesians protect their territory by granting a 10% bonus to the Combat Strength of any Polynesian military unit within two tiles. Furthermore, in the Brave New World expansion pack, Tourism can be generated based on the culture of Moai with a Hotel, Airport and/or a National Visitor Center.
Perhaps better known as the "Easter Island Statues," the Moai are large, humanoid figures carved mostly from volcanic rocks like tuff. 887 of these statues dot Easter Island, and are believed to have been created sometime between 1250 and 1500 AD. Almost half still remain at the original quarry site, but the rest were transported and erected around the island's coastline. Easily recognizable by their large heads and elongated features, it is believed that they were individual depictions of deceased ancestors and powerful chiefs.
While most scholars agree on why and how the statues were created, the method of their transportation still remains a mystery. Weighing from 9 to 86 tons a piece, they would have required an amazing feat of engineering to move from quarry to final resting place.
In 1994, the Moai statues were given official protection on the UNESCO World Heritage site list.