Easter Island

11 Stories

What We Assumed About Easter Island May Be Wrong

New study looked at the source of the tools used to carve the heads

(Newser) - The tale of the demise of Easter Island's people may have to be rewritten. The story has long held that infighting as resources ran out was one of the main drivers of the collapse, but a new study published in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology suggests a different scenario.... More »

Easter Island Natives Want British Museum's 'Stolen' Statue

Rapa Nui say the Hoa Hakananai'a Moai piece was stolen 150 years ago

(Newser) - It's been called one of the British Museum's must-see marvels. But Hoa Hakananai'a won't remain there, if Easter Island's indigenous people get their way. The 7-foot-tall Moai statue housed in London since it was taken 150 years ago from what's now a Chilean territory... More »

Easter Island May Not Have Collapsed Due to War After All

Obsidian artifacts were likely just general tools, not weapons

(Newser) - The ancient civilization of Rapa Nui, more commonly called Easter Island and a part of modern-day Chile, has long been thought to have been brought to its knees before Europeans arrived by violent infighting as precious resources ran out. But now anthropologists from Binghamton University in New York are publishing... More »

Researchers Solve Piece of Easter Island Mystery

The ongoing debate: Did Rapa Nui do themselves in, or are Europeans to blame?

(Newser) - The ongoing debate over what prompted the decline of Easter Island's native Polynesian inhabitants, known as Rapa Nui, is being clarified by scientists digging for answers in the soil. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , an international team of researchers explain that they examined agricultural... More »

What Really Happened to People of Easter Island

Study points to environmental decline before Europeans came

(Newser) - A new study is wading into the hot debate over exactly why Easter Island's indigenous people declined—and already news sources are interpreting it differently. The international team of researchers come to one clear conclusion: Environmental conditions made life hard for the Rapa Nui people before Europeans ever arrived... More »

Teeth Solve an Easter Island Mystery

Scientists discover what the locals were really snacking on 800 years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have been pondering why people who lived on Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) appear to have eaten palm trees—a primary crop, reports Nature World News —for several centuries when other research suggests the plant went extinct right around the time of colonization in the 13th century. The... More »

Easter Islanders Not as Isolated as Thought

Genetic data suggests travel to and from South America 20-plus generations ago

(Newser) - Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, is such a remote speck of rock in the Pacific Ocean that it has been nicknamed "navel of the world." Yet a review of genetic data of 27 natives suggests the islanders made contact with outsiders hundreds of years before the first Europeans... More »

Scientists Discover New Insect on Easter Island

It's rare good news on the damaged island

(Newser) - A new insect species has been discovered in a cave on Easter Island, a significant find given that most of the island's indigenous life has gone extinct, reports LiveScience . The insect is so new it has yet to be named, but it's a type of book louse about the size... More »

Easter Island Statue Plans Paris Pilgrimage

'Moai' aims to change humanity's 'materialistic conscience': government

(Newser) - A “moai”—one of the giant statues of elongated heads on Easter Island—will travel to Paris in 2010 on a mission to challenge the “materialistic conscience” of the world, the Independent reports. Representatives of the Pacific island’s government said the statue had made its wish... More »

Time Slows on Easter Island

Ancient culture thrives despite tourism surge

(Newser) - Tourists have left no stone unturned on Easter Island, flocking at rates of 50,000 a year to arguably the world’s most remote habitation. Five hours of flying over uninterrupted Pacific Ocean lands you on this mostly undeveloped volcanic rock with its haunting stone figures (moai), but today it... More »

What?! Tourist Arrested for Busting Ancient Statue's Ear

Easter Island vandal headed to jail

(Newser) - A Finnish tourist is facing an imposing sentence for cracking an ear off one of Easter Island's ancient monoliths, the Guardian reports. A local woman saw him snap the ear off the 13-foot statue. It shattered in several pieces as it fell to the ground, and he fled with one... More »

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