Rapa Nui Easter Island HistoryHistory of Rapa Nui Easter Island
.free admission to a little Rapa Nui history." S/n Tahai, Isla de Pascua, Easter Island, Chile.
Secrets of Easter Island
Centuries ago, a small group of Polynesians rode with their timber jib-cannoes across long open seas and navigated through the sunset star and the swell of the year. It is a puzzle when and why these refugees leave their homes. What is clear, however, is that they have made a small, inhabited island with gentle slopes and a luxuriant tapestry of palms their new home, which is finally their 63 sq. m. of paradise Rapa Nui - now known as Easter Island.
Nearly 2,300 leagues from South America and 1,100 leagues from the next island, the new arrivals carved vulcanic rocks, carved mai, monumental sculptures in honour of their forefathers. It laid the huge boulders of rock - on board 13 ft high and weighing 14 tonnes - into various ceremony buildings on the island, a task that took several working nights and many men.
A lot of them were felled to make room for farming, others were burnt and used to carry sculptures across the island. "It takes a lot of despair to get to the flaming grass," says John Flenley, who wrote The Enigmas of Easter Island with Paul Bahn. On Easter Sunday 1722, when the Netherlands discoverers - the first Europeans to arrive on the isolated island - the country was almost sterile.
Despite the general acceptance of these occurrences by scholars, the date of the Polynesians' advent on the island and why their civilisation finally crumbled is still under discussion. However, new finds by archeologist Terry Hunt of the University of Hawai'i may indicate a different interpretation of the series. Hunt, the archeologist Carl Lipo of California State University, Long Strand, and her student digs began in 2000 in Anakena, a whitish sand bank on the north bank of the island.
They thought this point of first man's interactions would tell them when the first Rapanui came to the island. From the excavation Hunt sent the specimens to a laboratory for carbon radiate dating and anticipated receiving a date around 800 A.D., in accordance with what other archeologists had found. Instead, the rehearsals were set at 1200 A.D. This would mean that the Rapanui reached them four hundred years later than foreseen.
It would have taken place much more quickly than initially thought, and the effects of mankind on the enviroment were quick and immediate. that man alone could not so quickly demolish the woods. For a long time now, researchers have known that with the colonization of the island, the Polyynesian rats, which were either on the way as blind passengers or as a source of aliment.
However, they came to Easter Island, the gnawers found an unrestricted range of foods in the luxuriant palms, Hunt thinks, who supports this claim on a wealth of rat-eaten treeseed. "if they ate all the semen, the first effect would be felt by mice. According to Hunt, the sinking of the island "was a synergistic effect.
" Hunt's results attracted a lot of attention among the Easter Island scholars. New Zealand University Massey pollinist John Flenley accepted that the large number of rat species would have some influence on the island. "Flenley has taken nuclei from several lakes in the island's volcanoes. "Flenley says, "I think the breakdown occurred just before the island was discovered in Europe.
" Flenley, who first questioned Easter Island in 1977, was one of the first researchers to analyse the island's pollen levels - a pivotal figure for afforestation. In the past, the island's volcanoes, which once contained small seas, were perfect places for his research. Every stratum was applied to the stratum beforehand," says Flenley, and refers to nuclei from the seabed of a caldera.
"It' like a history textbook. "The specimens showed an abundance of polen, suggesting that the island was once very wooded. "By the time I began logging at this point, it began around A.D. 800 and ended at this point around A.D. 1000," a result consistent with other isl. carbon radiological data.
As this was one of the first settlements, according to Flenley, it makes good reason that forest degradation would have taken place even sooner than in other parts of the island. According to Flenley, this craters would have been one of the few fresh water springs on the island and thus one of the first places where the Polynesians would have located.
" Hunt researched on Anakena, the shore, would have been a good place for canoeing and angling, but not a good place to be. Hunt, says Flenley, "definitely showed a minimal human presence, but the real human presence could have been a little before.
" Jo Anne Van Tilburg, one of the island's foremost archeologists and one of the founders of the Easter Island Statue Project and a scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been studying the island's mai for nearly 30 years.
"It is not natural that they should have built a few years after their island arrived to build magalithic sites," she says. All 887 of Van Tilburg's sculptures were measured by her team. "They undoubtedly built decks around 1200 AD," she says, and refers to the stonewalls on which the island' s inhabitants sat the mai.
" In spite of these issues, Hunt is still optimistic. He says that many academics "get a date, tell a tale, make a big investment in it and don't want to give it up. "Hunt, Lipo and their pupils are still excavating the island. "We' re getting more and more evidence," says Hunt, who released his results in Science.
" It is possible that the Polynesians never find a coherent response to when they colonised the island and why civilisation crumbled so quickly. Easter Island is still a precautionary story for the whole planet, whether an inversive rodents or man has ravaged the area.