[ExI] Easter Island

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Mar 26 23:29:54 UTC 2009

BillK wrote:

> On 3/26/09, Lee Corbin wrote:
>>  Er, Bill, I hope that you realize that this would mean
>>  armed resistance.
>>  Are you advocating that these peaceful islanders actually
>>  create a war department, organize, but weapons from
>>  international arms dealers, tax their own citizens?
>>  And, if too many free riders "didn't want nothin' to do
>>  with no war", use conscription??
>>  Come now. Wouldn't it be better to just practice civil
>>  disobedience and wait for the Europeans and slave traders
>>  to realize the errors of their ways?
> :)

Thanks for the smiley! I'm glad you were amused, even if
some other allegedly snarky types were annoyed.

> I don't think they were particularly peaceful.  The South Sea
> islanders fought on every other island, so they probably liked a good
> brawl on Easter Island as well....

Yes, :-).

> Although most of the spearheads found on the island seem to have a
> later date when they were resisting the attacks of the slaver ships.
> To support Damien,


> rat bones are the most prolific bones excavated on
> Easter Island. The settlers were eating the rats
 > as one of their food sources.
> Hunt claims that rat remains indicate that the rodent population
> spiked at 20 million from 1200 to 1300 and then dropped off to a mere
> 1 million after the trees were gone and their food resources
> disappeared. After that, if there was little food for the rats, there
> was probably little for the humans either.
> It seems reasonable to me that the human growth rate would drop in
> line with the worsening environment. Human populations cannot grow
> without regular supplies of food and water. At a lower growth rate and
> with few resources available the population might never have been much
> more than 5000. There would have been fights over the available food,
> but after the rats destroyed the trees the islanders had few options
> left.

Yup, that's the story as told by the recent article Damien
provided a link to. Alas, there never was a Golden Age,
as much as people yearned for it. I'm reading the very
interesting book "The Discovery of Mankind" by an exceedingly
famous Mediterranean historian who has turned his all seeing
eye towards Atlantic exploration. It's a fascinating story
about how the Europeans projected their own images onto all
the peoples they encountered (i.e. conquered). No one, however,
will find too much ammunition to either sanctify or demonize
the Europeans---for they, just as Easter Islanders, modern
Americans, ancient Mesopotamians, Scandinavians or what have
you, seem to contain the entire panoply of human virtues and


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