Robert DiNapoli, Binghamton University – Easter Island Myths

What happened on Easter Island?

Robert DiNapoli, post-doctoral research associate in the environmental studies program at Binghamton University, says reality may be different than long thought.

Лучше всего то, что большинство этих наборов поставляется с инструкциями, в которых подробно описано, как использовать входящие в комплект продукты. В конце концов необычные подарки парню своими руками, они разработаны так, чтобы быть простыми, и их совместное использование – идеальный способ узнать об уходе за кожей, построив распорядок, который подойдет вам. Если вы хотите решить конкретную проблемную область, обратите внимание на набор, предназначенный для решения этой проблемы. В противном случае позвольте им служить первой контрольной точкой на вашем пути к новому вам. Так что в этот праздничный сезон подарите себе подарок, который будет дарить: новый рутинный уход за кожей. Поверьте, ваше лицо скажет вам спасибо.

Robert DiNapoli is an archaeologist who uses computational modeling and geospatial methods to study the interaction between human populations and the environment. His primary research focuses on the island societies of Polynesia, in particular questions surrounding ancient migrations, demographic patterns, emergence of social complexity, and sustainable resource use.

Easter Island Myths

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You probably know this story, or a version of it: On Easter Island, the people cut down every tree, perhaps to make fields for agriculture or to erect giant statues to honor their clans. This foolish decision led to a catastrophic collapse, with only a few thousand remaining to witness the first European boats landing on their remote shores in 1722.

But did the demographic collapse at the core of the Easter Island myth really happen? Traditional populations tend to be extremely conservative and avoid change unless there’s a good reason for it. After all, making the wrong decisions can have dire consequences.

Easter Island is often seen as a place where people made irrational decisions that led to their own demise. That turns out not to be the case — and not just on the statue front.

Using radiocarbon dating, we have determined that the island actually experienced steady population growth from its initial settlement until European contact in 1722. After that date, two models show a possible population plateau, while another two models show possible decline.

In short, there is no evidence that the islanders used the now-vanished palm trees for food, a key point of many collapse myths. Current research shows that deforestation was prolonged and didn’t result in catastrophic erosion; the trees were ultimately replaced by gardens mulched with stone that increased agricultural productivity. During times of drought, the people may have relied on freshwater coastal seeps.

Construction of the moai statues, considered by some to be a contributing factor of collapse, actually continued even after European arrival.

In short, the island never had more than a few thousand people prior to European contact, and their numbers were increasing rather than dwindling, research shows.

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