The Collapse of Pitcairn Island
and Henderson and Mangavera Islands
By David Siegel and Claudia Guerrero
unlike Mangareva or Pitcairn, is not volcanic--it's a coral reef that geologic processes thrust up 100 feet above sea level and is therefore devoid of basalt or other volcanic rocks suitable for tool-making. That's an awful limitation for a society of makers of stone tools. To make matters worse, because the island consists of porous limestone, Henderson has no streams or reliable freshwater. Henderson's tallest trees are only about 40 feet high, not big enough to fashion into canoe hulls. Henderson did not have a lot of natural resources
Pitcairn is too small and steep to afford much land suitable for agriculture. Pitcairn's coastline also lacks a reef, and the surrounding sea bottom falls off steeply making fishing and searching for shellfish difficult These factors indicate that the total population of Pitcairn in Polynesian times could not have been much greater than a hundred people. Since it was such a small population it is easy for it to decrease during sickness seasons.
Diamond, Jared M. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005. Print.
Ford, Herbert. "Pitcairn's Earlier History: Before the Mutineers." Pre-Mutineer History. Pacific Union College, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
"The Last People Alive Pitcairn and Henderson Islands." Portland State Univerasy. Portland State Universary, n.d. Web.N/a. "History of Pitcairn Island." Pitcairn Islands Study Center. Pacific Union College, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.