Easter Island PeoplePeople of Easter Island
Years of faith is that before the advent of Europeans, the old Rape Nui people were experiencing shortages of natural ressources, which resulted in intern struggles and their ultimate death. But a new study of these spear-like creatures by the University of Binghamton anthropologist Carl Lipo found that the Mata' a artefacts had made bad warfare.
Lippo headed a research unit to investigate a photographic library of over 400 Mata' a found on the island. They were able to characterise the forms of the artefacts using a method known as morphometry. They found out that the Mata' a were not used in battles at all. Built on other conventional weaponry, the form of the Mata' a would have made an inadequate gun at a times when surviving was critical.
"If they can be compared to those found all over the globe, if there are actually items used for war, they are very well-formed. These results confirm the notion that Rapa Nui have not experienced war. Moreover, new proofs contribute to the assumption that Mata' a as a weapon was more a belated declaration of Europe than a genuine archaeological one.
Aside from the illnesses that the early Europeans were carrying, the Rapa Nui were slaves and depleted. Mata' a artefacts have been found all over Easter Island. Scientists believe that their widespread use supports the notion that they were used as agricultural instruments.