The People of Easter IslandPeople on Easter Island
How can the seeming irony be explained: the creation, building and transportation of huge "moai" rock sculptures, a formidable piece of culture that was performed on an almost sparse island that apparently lacks both human and resource to perform such a work? Or, was a more mature people, perhaps from America, really to blame - one that later erased all the island's native ressources?
Recently it has become the ultimatum allegory for the egoism of humanity; a morality story about the risks of destroying the environment. The " ecozid " theory popularized by Jared Diamond uses Rafa Nui as a demo of how the community is condemned to breakdown if we do not listen attentively.
However, more than 60 years of archeological research paint a completely different image - and now new genetics are shedding further light on the destiny of the island. It' t is demystifying Rapa Nui. Firstly, the island's populations were cut from several ten thousand in their prime to 1,500-3,000 when the Europeans began to live on the island in the early eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Secondly, that the palms that once occupied the island were felled by the Rapa Nui populations to move them. Without ground anchoring tree species, erosion of fruitful lands resulted in bad harvests, while a shortage of timber prevented the island' s inhabitants from building boats to get to grips with pisces or move them.
We are still unable to provide a convincing response to the issue of the number of inhabitants. While most archeologists are in agreement on estimations of between 4,000 and 9,000 people, a recent survey examined the expected farm yield and pointed out that the island could have helped up to 15,000 people. However, there is no true indication of a demographic decrease before the first contacts with Europe in 1722.
Ethnographical accounts from the early twentieth centuries give verbal stories about the wars between rival island groups. Known for traversing the Pacific Ocean on a classic Inca ship, Thor Heyerdahl, an astonishingly anthropological man, took these accounts as proof of a great civilian conflict that resulted in the 1680 battles in which the island's tribal population was mostly exterminated.
Mata' a, or observidian flocs, which contaminate the island, were seen as weapons pieces that testify to this force. Amazingly, few of the island's remaining humans show factual proof of wounding, just 2. 5 per cent and most of those showed proof of healings, signifying that assaults were not deadly. What is crucial is that there is no proof of cannibalism beyond the historic propaganda of the words.
It is questionable whether stories of the twentieth centuries really served as trustworthy resources for conflict in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Recently, a prehistorical community has appeared which successfully and lastingly inhabited the island until then. There is agreement that Rapa Nui, once overgrown with large palms, was quickly felled shortly after its first settlement around 1200 AD.
Even though micro-botanical proofs, such as palen essay, suggest that the Palmenwald quickly vanished, the humans may have been only partly to blame. However, this is not the case. However, despite this deforestation, my own research into the nutrition of Prehistory Rapanui found that they consume more shellfish and are more demanding and adaptive peasants than previously thought.
What if something were to happen to the local people so that their numbers would shrink and the sculpture would end? What was the cause of the wars and conflicts in the early twentieth centuries? In the course of the nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, the country was taken away by slaves from Latin America up to half of the local people.
The introduction of diseases, the demolition of properties and forced immigration by Europe's merchants further depleted the local population and intensified conflicts among the population. South Americans were thought to have been in touch with Rafa Nui hundreds of years before Europeans, as their genetic material can be found in the indigenous people. Rapanui was analysing traces of humans from before and after our contacts in Europe.
This work, which has been journalized in Current Biology, found no significant genetic flux between South America and Easter Island before 1722. Instead, the significant disturbance of the island populations could have affected today's advanced genetic material. Perhaps the takeaways of Rapid Nui should not be a history of eco-cide and the breakdown of the Malts.
Instead, it should be a teaching, as scarce proof, a focus on "mysteries" and a joint acknowledgment of historical horrors have mistakenly held a sustained and unexpectedly well-adapted people responsible for their own doom. They have been moving them; the locals knew it all along.