Many of us are familiar with the Easter Islands but no one, including modern scientist and anthropologist is familiar with what happened to the island and its inhabitants. Easter Island is perhaps most well known for the beautiful and graceful stone statues that adorned it coast. Its discovery in the 1700′s includes notes about as many as 200 of these statues lining the coast proudly from huge carved stone platforms. What could have happened to the society that created these objects? Where did they go? Recent anthropological studies have done little more than raise additional questions.
Scientific data gathered from the island tells us that it was once flourishing. At one time, Easter Island would have been a lush Eden, covered in unique flora and fauna. Remnants of stone quarries found throughout the island are a testament to the abilities of the people that lived there. As many as 700 unfinished statues, some weighing as much as 82 tons were located within the quarries.
Today’s researchers have decided that the reigning theory, that the inhabitants were migrants from the America’s, has been debunked. It simply was not possible. The question remains, of course, how did these people get there? It is now believed that the inhabitants at one time numbered as high as 7,000 and that the island was originally settled around 400 AD. Even this data is hotly contested, with some archeologists believing that as many as 20,000 people could have lived there.
Today’s studies are primarily focused on the statues and determining how they were created and moved. Scientist is relying on the few surviving islanders to complete experiments to help determine how these statues were built.
Easter Island is likely to remain an enigma. The once flourishing society was decimated, owing in part to the decimation of the islands trees and wildlife by the native population. Maybe we should look at the Easter Island as a warning.