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Construction of Moai Statues did not Lead to Demographic Collapse


Published on: August 16, 2021,

There is a myth considering Easter Island. The myth is people cut down every trees to make fields for agriculture or to erect giant statues to honor the clans. This decision led to catastrophic collapse. New research shows the demographic collapse at the core of Easter Island myth did not happen. This research was conducted by Binghamton University anthropologists DiNapoli and Carl Lipo.


As per the research during 12th to 13th centuries AD the forested island was denuded may be due to introduction of invasive species such as rats. Also there was a shift in climate which led to a dryer climate on Rapa Nui. “ One argument is that changes in the environment was caused by drought. “But are the changes really explain what we see in the population data through radiocarbon dating?


Archaeologists have different ways to construct population sizes. The most usual technique is use carbon dating to track extent of human activity. But radiocarbon dates are uncertain. For the first time DiNapoli and Lipo have presented a method to solve the queries and relate to environmental variables. Bayesian Computation can be used to research. As per the research the island experienced population growth from its initial settlement until the European came in 1722.


There is no evidence that islanders used palm trees for food. The deforestation did not result in catastrophic erosion. The trees were replaced by gardens covered with stones which increased agricultural productivity. People may have relied on freshwater coastal seeps. The collapse was thought to be done by construction of moai statues but it continued even after European arrival. So the construction of moai statues did not led to the catastrophic collapse.


The collapse of Easter Island’s collapse happened not really with ancient Rapa Nui. The idea of changes in population affect population began to take off in 1960s. This correlation may derive from pollution and climate change on different time scales. Only thing that matters is how human communities respond to change varies. For example the collapse of cod fisheries in American Northwest. On an alone and isolated island a misstep in resource can lead to tangible, catastrophic consequences such as starvation.  “The tendency to think the people in the past are not smart as we are and they somehow made mistakes is not always correct. In fact this might be opposite, “ Lipo said. In fact there might be lot to learn from our ancestors.


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