Some new stunning insights on the mystery of Easter Island are being revealed and you will definitely want to hear the experts’ new theory. It has been long held by scientists that early inhabitants of Easter Island disappeared as a result of ongoing warfare, but it turns out that there’s another explanation at stake.
For those who don’t know, Easter Island is most famous for it’s giant stone heads. More than 800 of these statues were created by the Rapa Nui, but by the 1860’s almost all of these people were wiped out. Some academics have long believed that deforestation and lack of resources led to warfare, killing off most of the population.
Now, a new analysis of artifacts discovered on the shores of Easter Island, originally thought to be used as spear points, reveals that they were likely general purpose tools. The results, which are outlined in a study conducted by Binghamton University researchers, provides evidence that the ancient civilization may not have been destroyed by warfare.
According to Carl Lipo, professor of anthropology at Binghamton University and lead on the study, the traditional story for Rapa Nui holds that the people, before Europeans arrived, ran out of resources. As a result, they engaged in massive in-fighting, which led to their collapse.
The evidence that supports this theory is the thousands of obsidian, triangular objects found on the surface, known as mata’a. Due to their large numbers and because they’re made of sharp glass, many believe the mata’a to be the weapons of war that the ancient inhabitants of the island used for violence.
But how did the researchers manage to bring the myth of the self-destruction of the islanders to new light? Lipo and his research team analyzed the 400-plus mata’a collected from the island. By using a technique known as morphometrics, the research team was able to determine that the mata’a were used for tattooing and farming.
Therefore, the mata’a were well designed for everything – except for causing someone’s death.
Moreover, Lipo and his research team compared the mata’a to any other warfare found around the worl. The comparison clearly showed that based on its characteristics, the tool might have been good for cutting something, but not killing.
However, a question still remains: Why did the ancient civilization on Easter Island vanish if not due to internal warfare? It appears that the Rapa Nui, the native Polynesian inhabitants of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean, shared the same tragic fate as other ancient civilizations.
Image Source: nationalgeographic.com.