Was there cannibalism on Easter Island?

Surprisingly few of the human remains from the island show actual evidence of injury, just 2.5 percent, and most of those showed evidence of healing, meaning that attacks were not fatal. Crucially, there is no evidence, beyond historical word-of-mouth, of cannibalism.

Why did the Rapa Nui civilization collapse?

Around 1200 A.D., their growing numbers and an obsession with building moai led to increased pressure on the environment. By the end of the 17th century, the Rapanui had deforested the island, triggering war, famine and cultural collapse.

What happened to the Rapa Nui tribe?

But the most likely cause of the downfall of Rapanui society is disease brought about by slavery. According to Easter Island: The Truth Revealed, approximately 1,500 to 2,000 people – half the population – were taken in 1862 in a raid by slave traders from Peru to work there, predominately in agriculture.

Why did the people of Easter Island go extinct?

Around 1400 the Easter Island palm became extinct due to overharvesting. Its capability to reproduce has become severely limited by the proliferation of rats, introduced by the islanders when they first arrived, which ate its seeds.

Did the Rapa Nui resort to cannibalism?

In this story, made popular by geographer Jared Diamond’s bestselling book Collapse, the Indigenous people of the island, the Rapanui, so destroyed their environment that, by around 1600, their society fell into a downward spiral of warfare, cannibalism, and population decline.

Why did they build the moai statues?

Moai statues were built to honor chieftain or other important people who had passed away. They were placed on rectangular stone platforms called ahu, which are tombs for the people that the statues represented.

Why could the Islanders no longer eat porpoises?

They became extinct. Why could the islanders no longer eat porpoises? No one can harpoon them.

Did Easter Island ever have trees?

Easter Island was covered with palm trees for over 30,000 years, but is treeless today. There is good evidence that the trees largely disappeared between 1200 and 1650.

What was the landscape like on Rapa Nui?

The statues overlooked a barren landscape. While archaeological evidence shows that Rapa Nui was once lushly forested, by the time Europeans reached the island, it had been clear-cut, devastated by human overuse, ecological change, or a bloody civil war.

When was Rapa Nui first discovered by Europeans?

Even since European explorers stumbled upon Rapa Nui on Easter Sunday 1722, outsiders have been struck by the island’s barren landscape. Early European accounts suggested that the 2000-3000 people living on the island at the time of discovery were impoverished and only possessed simple stone tools.

What kind of pollen was found on Rapa Nui?

Scientist John Flenley and his colleagues drilled cores deep into lake sediments and examined ancient pollen grains preserved there. They have attempted to reconstruct, layer by layer, the history of vegetation on the island. The primary pollen they discovered was Palm, similar to the Chilean wine palm.

What was the population of Rapa Nui before ecocide?

It is time to demystify Rapa Nui. The ecocide hypothesis centers on two major claims. First, the island’s population was reduced from several tens of thousands in its heyday, to a diminutive 1,500-3,000 when Europeans first arrived in the early 18th century.