The disappearance of Easter Island’s maritime civilization Rapa Nui hundreds of years ago remains a mystery for researchers, but a new study has suggested that a war might not have led to the ancient civilization’s collapse.
The collapsed Rapa Nui civilization is known for its more than massive 800 monuments that are so massive and ambiguous that they puzzle researchers till date. The massive stone statues were placed along the coastline of the island as if they were surveying the island’s interior.
Many archaeologists are of the view that the Rapa Nui civilization collapsed because of a catastrophic population crash, which might be caused by warfare. The belief is based on reports that hundreds of sharpened pieces of obsidian, called mata’a, which look like spearheads, were found scattered across the island.
But, a new study suggested that there warfare might not be the cause of the civilization’s collapse. Lead researcher Archaeologist Carl Lipo said he and his colleagues found nothing on the island that could suggest that warfare led to the civilization’s collapse. He explained that shapes of the mata’a suggested that they would be terrible for stabbing.
Sharing findings of the new study, Lipo added, “We tend to assume that prehistoric populations must have commonly experienced brutal competition. But when we look more broadly at human history, we find generally that we are pretty good at living in social groups and getting along with one another.”
The researchers also pointed out that the Rapa Nui people have not been wiped off the face of or planet. Even today, the make up more than half the Polynesian population. Their ancestors had likely arrived on the island, which is now a part of Chile, around a millennium ago.