"a Short ear!" Easter Island Things to Do Tip by margaretvn

Easter Island Things to Do: 305 reviews and 695 photos


Heyerdahl was convinced that the Island had been settled by people from the New World ? America. Every aspect of the archaeology and anthropology of the island ? its architecture, technology, religion, settlements patterns, art, anatomy, DNA and blood groups and language though points to the north ?west as the source of population and culture. The north-west means Polynesia and in particular the Marquesas Islands.
In the three millions years of its existence before humans came along Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as its inhabitants call it, had developed a balanced ecosystem. Volcanic rocks had weathered into fertile soil which was enriched with the droppings of millions of birds. Plants had arrived - some seeds brought by birds, some by the wind and some floating in the sea. Pollen evidence shows that the island once supported a diverse rainforest which was dominated by a tree similar to the Chilean wine palm, the world?s largest palm. This natural balance was disturbed by the arrival of the voyagers. These people probably brought domestic animals (chickens, rats, pigs and dogs) and food plants (bananas, sweet potatoes, taro and breadfruit) with them. The dogs and pigs probably did not survive for long and the breadfruit did not grow. The colonists set about clearing the natural forest to plant their crops. The native birds fell prey to the islanders and their eggs were stolen by rats and so the birds retreated to offshore islets. It was during this early period that the colonists constructed simple types of platforms (ahu) with small and relatively crude statues either on them or in front of them.

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  • Written Aug 24, 2002
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Comments (1)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2016 at 6:03 AM

    This is the first explanation I have heard about what happened to the original inhabitants here. Very interesting but sad too.


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