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Easter Island study casts doubt on theory of ‘ecocide’ by early population


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Easter Island has long been put forward as a prime example of humans undermining their own survival by destroying the environment they rely on. But now fresh data is turning the narrative on its head.

Also known as Rapa Nui, the remote island in Polynesia is well known for its huge stone statues called “moai” and for the idea that its growing population collapsed because of “ecocide”.

The theory – promoted by experts including the Pulitzer prize-winning author Jared Diamond – suggests islanders chopped down palm trees at an unsustainable rate to create gardens, harvest fuel and move statues, which brought on disaster. As a result, the population encountered by Europeans in the 18th century was a shadow of what it had once been.

However, a new study has added to a growing body of evidence offering a very different view.

Full UK Guardian article via MSN: Link

Island-wide characterization of agricultural production challenges the demographic collapse hypothesis for Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Science Advances

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Its a good article. The farming evidence is cool. Did they preserve their forests? If not, they were stuck on the island. Without boats, there would be no escape.
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