The inhabitants of Easter Island were probably not wiped out after ecocide

“A new study challenges a frequently cited theory that the people of Easter Island plundered the forests to the point of collapse,” reports the American site Yale Environment 360. New data sheds new light on the history of Rapa Nui, this lost island in the middle of the Pacific, famous for its emblematic black stone statues called “moais”.

According to a theory popularized by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Jared Diamond, the first inhabitants of Rapa Nui cut down trees to use them for fuel, to make room for crops or to move moais, with such greed that they would have caused a disaster: an ecocide leading to a collapse of the local population before the arrival of Europeans in 1722.

But the new study published on June 21 in Science Advances adds to the growing body of scientific work proposing another

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