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Easter's End Essay

Essay by   •  September 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  415 Words (2 Pages)  •  3,308 Views

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Easter Island is a small Polynesian island far away from any other civilization. It was discovered by outside peoples in 1722 by Dutch explorer Roggeveen. Upon his arrival Easter island was considered a wasteland. There were almost no trees, the trees they did have were small. Most of the vegetation consisted of bushes and grasses and there was no animal life except for a few domesticated chickens.

On this island explorers noted giant statues that weighted in excess of 80 tons. The statues appeared to have been moved to their permanent locations from locations different of the place they were created. It is believed that they were moved by ropes and lubricated tracks built from trees that once existed on the island. Scientists used several different technologies to determine this.

Scientists used pollen analysis to determine the types of vegetative life that once inhabited Easter. Through core samples of the ground, scientists determined that several large trees were once native to Easter. The island was once a subtropical forest. The most common tree to once inhabit the island was a type of palm that no longer exists there now.

Excavations led by David Steadman determined that the islanders once ate porpoises harpooned miles off shore, no doubt in boats fashioned from the trees that once inhabited Easter. They also ate seabirds and rats. As these animals died out the islanders had to resort to cannibalism. This is evidenced by bone collections found in Easter's trash heaps.

It is believed that by the year 800 the deforestation of Easter was well underway. In a few centuries the tree population would be drastically reduced, eventually to the point where regrowth would prove impossible. This is partly to blame for the rat population. As the trees died out the islanders would no longer be able to make the great boats that carried them off shore to harpoon the porpoises. The over consumption of the seabirds would cause there exodus of the island and all that would be left is a few chickens and enemies for supper.

The fate of Easter Island should be a concern to all. This small once very fertile civilization was destroyed by only a few people with primitive tools. The Earth could meet the fate of this island if its inhabitants do not take heed of the warning Easter has given us. It is only common sense that our great machinery and massive population could all too well destroy our society as Easter's inhabitants destroyed theirs.

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