Easter Island

Maggie Tensen and Peter Desantis

THESIS

Because Easter Island was so isolated. the severe deforestation and political unrest contributed to the collapse of the civilization.

Isolation

Easter Island is located 2,300 miles west off the coast of Chile and 1,300 miles east of the Pitcairn islands. The Pitcairn Islands are the closest land to them which is not close at all. Being so far away from any other humans, made it very difficult for Easter Island to sustain a large population. They could not import food, so they only the food that was already on the island. They did not have a fantastic source of food to begin with, only having one hundred and twenty-seven species of fish. This left them without much fish to hunt for and made it an everyday struggle to hunt for fish (their main food source). Another problem with isolation, was they could not communicate with other people, so in times of need they were left to fend for themselves. If they were to run out of necessary resources, which they did, the island's people would die out,. Also, expansion would doom a island with such isolation. They would have no where to expand to, leading to a very overpopulated island. Resources would become more valuable because the people would put a strain on the island's resources and quickly use all of the available resources.
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Deforestation

Because of the lack of knowledge about the environment the natives began cutting trees down all over the island. They used the trees for things like firewood, canoes, houses, and other equipment. The environment started degrading rapidly finally resulting in all the trees to be gone. this left the island with no resources and lead to it's demise.

Bibliography

Works Cited

Diamond, Jared. "Easter Island's End." Skeptically.org. Discover Magazine, 1 Dec. 1997. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Diamond, Jared M. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.

"Easter Island." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Garnaut, Christine. "Easter Island." World Geography: Understanding a Changing World. ABC-CLIO, 2000. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://worldgeography.abc-clio.com/Search/Results?q=1453629>.

"How Easter Island Works." HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

Hunt, Terry. "Rethinking the Fall of Easter Island." » American Scientist. N.p., 2006. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. This article was published in 2006 so it is relatively current and up to date on the issues it presents. This is also a reliable source. It is full of statistics about population and important dates of things that happened on Easter Island, like occurrences with other civilizations. It also refers to Jared Diamond and his theory and other books published about the island. The author is also creditable. Terry Hunt is a professor in the department of anthropology at the University of Hawaii. He earned his masters and phd in anthropology. The website is also a .org proving it is more reliable. He states facts that have been proven about the island and it's history while explaining many other peoples thoughts about it's collapse and society. Overall, this article is very reliable.

Tyson, Peter. "The Fate of Easter Island." PBS. PBS, 20 Apr. 2004. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.