FAQ

Quick Answer: Why did easter island collapse?

What caused the collapse of Easter Island?

Around 1200 A.D., their growing numbers and an obsession with building moai led to increased pressure on the environment. By the end of the 17th century, the Rapanui had deforested the island, triggering war, famine and cultural collapse.

What destroyed the civilization of Easter Island?

Archaeologists Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii and Carl Lipo of California State University agree that Easter Island lost its lush forests and that it was an ‘ecological catastrophe’ – but they believe the islanders themselves weren’t to blame. And the moai certainly weren’t.

What really happened on Easter Island?

With no trees to anchor the soil, fertile land eroded away, resulting in poor crop yields, while a lack of wood meant islanders couldn’t build canoes to access fish or move statues. This led to internecine warfare and, ultimately, cannibalism.

Who owns the Easter Islands?

Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of “special territory” (Spanish: territorio especial). Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, constituting a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua.

Does anyone live on Easter Island now?

About 5,000 people live on Easter Island today, and thousands of tourists come to see the anthropomorphic “moai” statues each year.

Is Easter Island safe?

According to the U.S. State Department, crime rates throughout Chile are fairly low. Most visitors to Easter Island travel through the capital city of Santiago which, like any big city, has a higher crime rate. Take the same precautions that you would take in any large city.

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Why are Easter Island statues buried?

Archaeologists believe that the statues were a representation of the ancient Polynesians’ ancestors. The moai statues face away from the ocean and towards the villages as if to watch over the people. The exception is the seven Ahu Akivi which face out to sea to help travelers find the island.

How did humans get to Easter Island?

Some scientists say that Easter Island was not inhabited until 700–800 CE. The Austronesian Polynesians, who first settled the island, are likely to have arrived from the Marquesas Islands from the west. These settlers brought bananas, taro, sugarcane, and paper mulberry, as well as chickens and Polynesian rats.

What is the mystery of Easter Island?

Researchers say they have analysed the locations of the megalithic platforms, or ahu, on which many of the statues known as moai sit, as well as scrutinising sites of the island’s resources, and have discovered the structures are typically found close to sources of fresh water.

Why do moai face inland?

The story goes that the people who built the Moai believed that they were the only people in the whole world. Any invaders or bad people that would be coming would have to come from within the island – not by sea! So the Moai face inwards to protect the community.

Why did cannibalism start on Easter Island?

With no trees to anchor the soil, fertile land eroded away resulting in poor crop yields, while a lack of wood meant islanders couldn’t build canoes to access fish or move statues. This led to internecine warfare and, ultimately, cannibalism.

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Does Easter Island have snakes?

There are not much variety of Easter Island animals due to its extreme isolation. There are no known species of snakes on the island.

What is the official language of Easter Island?

Rapa Nui or Rapanui (/ˌræpəˈnuːi/), also known as Pascuan (/ˈpæskjuən/) or Pascuense, is an Eastern Polynesian language of the Austronesian language family. It is spoken on the island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. The island is home to a population of just under 6,000 and is a special territory of Chile.

How much does it cost to visit Easter Island?

Overview of how much an Easter Island vacation costs

Expense Cost (daily)
Transportation $24,000 CLP ($37 USD)
Total $66,000 CLP ($100 USD)
Total (four days) $264,000 CLP ($400 USD) + flights
*You can reduce this to $16,000 CLP (camping) or $30,000 CLP (dorm)

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