Previously, researchers believed the destruction of Easter Island and its inhabitants was due to ecological collapse.
However, a new study on the infamous island famous for its incredible and mysterious statues revealed the society was more sophisticated and peaceful than initially thought.
The Chilean Island located in the southeastern section of the Pacific ocean covers only 170 square kilometers. The island is also one of the most remote locations on the planet. The mystery of the island has long fascinated a variety of people.
A research team comprised of various international people studied the tools the Polynesian seafarers used to carve their now famous moai statues. The group hoped to unearth the truth about the mysterious collapse of the island’s people. The research team soon found that the islanders were not destructive like history paints them.
Laure Dussubieux, a scientist at the Field Museum, contributed to the study. In an article in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology, she mentioned that for a long time the culture behind the statues was a mystery. Now, this study is helping us understand how the people interacted and to revise the theory of the Island’s fall.
Different Theories Fall After New Investigation on Easter Island Digs Up New Discoveries
The perpetuated collapse narrative details that the island’s population known as Rapa Nui disappeared after the 17th century when a shortage of natural resources turned to infighting.
Dale Simpson Jr., the lead of the study and an archaeologist from the University of Queensland, stated there is evidence that supports a new theory where there was a high level of collaboration.
The cause of collapse attributed to competition might be overstated according to Simpson. To him, the stone carving industry is evidence enough for him there was cooperation among both families and craft groups.
The Islanders are thought to have arrived at the island about 900 years ago. From there, the population increased to thousands. According to Simpson, the number and size of moai statues prove a complex society existed there.
Those of Ancient Rapa Nui had priests, chiefs, and even worker guilds who farmed, fished and created the moai. Some level of sociopolitical organization existed to carve the near thousand statues that still live on the island.
Another theory was the arrival of the colonists was the downfall of the island. Experts, however, say the collapse was not how it was previously suggested.
Part of the grand mystery surrounding Easter Island is its remote location. Despite that, people were and even still are interacting on the island. There are still thousands of Rapa Nui people alive now.
Experts hope the study into Easter Island will help better show how societies work.
Dussubieux says that the happenings of the world is a cycle. What happened before will happen again. While most of us don’t live on a small island, we can learn about interactions of the past. These stories are important now because our interactions are what shapes our world.