New Research Rewrites the Demise of Easter Island
By Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com
The story of Easter Island—home to the famous moai monoliths—is a tragic one. But depending on the individual you ask, the harbingers of its early demise aren’t always the same.
In one version, the island—a remote outpost thousands of miles off the western coast of South America—was settled in the 13th century by a small group of Polynesians. Over time, the migrants papered the landscape, once rich with trees and rolling hills, with crop fields and monoliths. The transformation eroded the nutrient-rich soil, catapulting the island onto a path of destruction. As the trees dwindled, so did the people who had felled them: By the time Dutch explorers arrived on Easter Island in 1722, this early society had long since collapsed.
But in recent years, evidence has mounted for an alternative narrative—one that paints the inhabitants of the island they called Rapa Nui not as exploiters of ecosystems, but as sustainable farmers who were still thriving when Europeans first made contact. In this account, other factors conspired to end a pivotal era on Easter Island.
The latest research to support this idea, published recently in the Journal of Archaeological Science, comes from an analysis of the …
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.