Easter Island Again

15 August 2018
Archaeology

Sent in by William. At https://phys.org/print453352412.html … a new investigation into Easter Island (2300 miles off the coast of Chile). This is where society is supposed to have imploded as a result of over exploitation of natural resources. A new article in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology begs to differ. They say the Jared Diamond theory is over stated as evidence from the carving of the stone heads and their erection appears to have been a joint effort – indicating mutual appreciation of different roles in society. Some people were tasked with supplying food – through fishing and agriculture, and cooperated with other families and craft groups. The first Polynesians arrived in 2 canoes around 900 years ago. Over the course of several hundred years their numbers increased into the thousands – and subsequently they carved the stone statues, or moai. These are not stone heads as usually presented but full bodied statues that became partially buried over time. The moai represent important ancestors it is thought (although some people have other ideas). The largest of the moai is over 70 feet in height. The size and number of moai indicate a complex society with chiefs, priests, and guilds of workers who fished, farmed and made moai. Stone tools were made of basalt – a volcanic stone (derived from magma).

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