What Happened to the People of Easter Island?
Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is a small, isolated island located off the coast of Chile and for centuries has been clouded in mystery. While part of what makes the island so intriguing are its giant, stone statues called the Moai, or more commonly referred to as the Easter island heads, it’s the fate of the Rapa Nui people that have been at the centre of research and theories. Did their culture really collapse? The common narrative is that the inhabitants of Easter Island used up all their natural resources, however new research published in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology by Dale Simpson Jr. and his colleagues suggests a contradiction to this idea of a wasteful, uncivilised culture. Dale, who is a Centennial Scholar at the University of Queensland and Anthropology Instructor at College of DuPage joined Drive on the line to discuss his recent research on the island of Rapa Nui.