Easter Island: a mythical destination
Thousands of mysteries surround this Polynesian community. Its ancient traditions and customs have awakened the curiosity of researchers all over the world. Today, in this blog, we relate some of the latest discoveries about this special place.
Easter Island is located 3,700 kilometers away from Chile’s mainland. The area, which was annexed to Chile in 1888, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. However, for many more years the island has been inhabited by the Rapa Nui community. Its history has attracted millions of international researchers, who have dedicated their lives to studying a variety of enigmas related to the island.
What are the most interesting mysteries and theories? Allow us to elaborate…
South American Heritage
A 2017 study suggests that there was no real contact between the Rapa Nui and South American communities before the arrival of the Europeans. The investigation was managed by the University of California and subsequently published in the magazine, Current Biology. It explains how the Rapa Nui community is devoid of American genetics, at least up until the arrival of the immigrants from Europe in 1722.
In 1877, just 110 people lived on the island. It’s believed that this reduced number was the result of a civil war that wiped out a huge portion of the population. A study realized by the National Geographic, contradicts this idea and suggests that the islanders place a great deal of importance on peace. For years, it has been believed that the knives of Mata’a, made from stone, were designed to use in the civil war. However, the National Geographic study suggests that they were, in fact, crafted in order to cut and polish wood.
Legend has it that in order to transport the moais, the islanders would cut down manya large number of trees and made very poor use of the island’s natural resources. A team of anthropologists from Binghamton University analyzed human remains in order to further study the food intake of the ancient Rapa Nui. The study demonstrated that more than half of their food intake came from marine sources and that their cultivated food came from very fertile soils. This would seem to indicate that the destruction of the forests wasn’t exactly the catastrophe that history would have us believe.