Easter Island Collapse

By: Lexie Soro

Thesis


Throughout history many civilizations had a difficult time succeeding, Easter Island being one of those many couldn't seem to survive off of the resources they had, isolation they experienced, and deforestation that took place.

Background

Easter Island is considered a speck of volcanic rock about twice the size of Manhattan. It is roughly about 2,250 miles northwest of the country Chile and about 1,300 miles east of PItcairn Island. Easter Island was discovered on April 5, 1722 by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen. When the Europeans first arrived the land was nearly barren. The reason as to why this civilization collapsed is still being debated. Experts believe that this civilization thrived for hundreds of years by living off the fruitful land, and breaking up into different settlements. Obviously, this was not enough to keep the civilization going. Which eventually led to the collapse of this civilization.

Lack of Resources

Easter Island was a very resourceful island with things like rich volcanic soil,and was good with transportation. The island also experienced serious erosion which was one of the many reasons that the islands resources began to take a toll and effect the collapsing of the island. After many years of benefiting and surviving off their resources their soils became low in nutrients, the island bore a wide coastal plain well suited for cultivation of the taro. This was one major reason as to why the islands civilization collapsed.

Islands Isolation

Easter Island is Polynesian Island, Located in a special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, in the Southeastern Pacific ocean. With a population of 5,761(2012) it is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The population of Easter Island increased slowly at first, then began to grow more quickly reaching a "peak" around the middle of the second millennium A.D. of about 10,000 to 20,000 people. Easter Island is the most isolated piece of inhabited land in the world. Obviously being isolated began to effect the islands civilization which led to the collapse.

Deforestation

Deforestation is the clearance or Clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. Easter Islands high seasons are January to March. The islands average max. temperature is 72 degrees F. Theory states that trees began to disappear and the people began to starve, and warfare also broke out between the tribes. When archaeologist Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii sent out a team of students to do an excavation of the island they found that IN the top several layers of their excavation they found clear evidence of human presence like: charcoal, tools, and even bones.it is obvious that deforestation contributed to the collapse of the civilization.