|The wisdom of the ancients|
Dr. Mara Mulrooney, assistant anthropologist at Bishop Museum in Honululu, conducted a six year study on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) concerning the island’s theoretical civilisation collapse. Her findings now challenge these previous ideas, which have claimed that the islanders “self-destructed” before Europeans first visited in 1722. Results from her doctoral dissertation are published in the December issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. As popularised in Jared Diamond’s 2005 book Collapse, Rapa Nui is often viewed as a prime example of what happens when people lose sight of what they are doing to their environment. According to the popular narrative, the Rapa Nui people committed “environmental suicide” by deforesting their island home. However, Dr. Mulrooney and colleagues are starting to construct a more positive scenario. Read more.