Report

Late Colonization of Easter Island

Science  17 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5767, pp. 1603-1606
DOI: 10.1126/science.1121879

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Abstract

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) provides a model of human-induced environmental degradation. A reliable chronology is central to understanding the cultural, ecological, and demographic processes involved. Radiocarbon dates for the earliest stratigraphic layers at Anakena, Easter Island, and analysis of previous radiocarbon dates imply that the island was colonized late, about 1200 A.D. Substantial ecological impacts and major cultural investments in monumental architecture and statuary thus began soon after initial settlement.

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