Easter Island’s farmers cultivated social resilience, not collapse

Polynesian society thrived despite having created environmental challenges

By Bruce Bower, 12:02 PM December 16, 2013

Easter Island’s Polynesian society is known for having created huge, humanlike statues and for supposedly folding in the late 1600s after overexploiting limited land. But that proposed societal collapse may never have happened, a new study suggests.

Despite largely clearing the island of its palm forest by roughly 1550, groups on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, contained enough people to farm coastal and inland sites until well after Europeans first arrived in 1722, says anthropologist ...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/easter-island’s-farmers-cultivated-social-resilience-not-collapse?mode=magazine&context=187368