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The issue of water availability (or the lack of it) has often been mentioned by researchers who work on Rapa Nui/Easter Island, when we started to examine the details of the hydrology, we began to notice that freshwater access and statue location were tightly linked together. It wasnt obvious when walking around--with the water emerging at the coast during low tide, one doesnt necessarily see obvious indications of water. File photo - Statues at Anakena Beach, Easter Island, Chile. (Photo by Eric LAFFORGUE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) Places without ahu/moai showed no freshwater, he added. The pattern was striking and surprising in how consistent it was. Researchers had already identified groundwater discharge in coastal areas as a key factor in the statues placement on Easter Islands coast. In the latest stage of the research, experts examined how the availability of freshwater in certain areas was linked to the methods and means of building the statues. EASTER ISLANDS ANCIENT CIVILIZATION WAS NOT DESTROYED BY WARFARE, EXPERTS SAY Around 900 statues, or moai, are dotted around Easter Island. Circa 1955: Two ancient statues of uncertain origin on Easter Island, in the South Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Richard Harrington/Three Lions/Getty Images).
But under the conditions of warfare, weapons are going to have performance characteristics. And they're going to be very carefully fashioned for that purpose because it matters... You would cut somebody [ with a mata'a ], but they certainly wouldn't be lethal in any way. Related : Ancient Roman brooch contains' lovely' palindrome Some scientists have estimated, that, at its height, Easter Island’s population may have been as high as 20,000, but fell over centuries after the island’s trees and palms were cut down to build canoes and transport its famous giant statues. One theory suggests that the deforestation led to soil erosion, impacting the island’s ability to support wildlife and farming, and the collapse of its civilization. When the Dutch arrived at the island in 1722, its population was 3,000 or less. Only 111 inhabitants were living on Easter Island by 1877. Other experts, however, have questioned whether Easter Island ever supported a large population, citing instead the arrival of Europeans, who brought diseases and took islanders away as slaves. Related : Ancient 4,500-year-old boat discovered in Egypt What people traditionally think about Easter Island is being this island of catastrophe and collapse just isn't true in a pre-historic sense, populations were successful and lived sustainably on Easter Island up until European contact.