Sáez, A., Margalef, O., Becerril, L., Herrera, C., Goff, J., Pla-Rabes, S., Lara, L. E., & Giralt, S. (2022). Geological and Climatic Features, Processes and Interplay Determining the Human Occupation and Habitation of Easter Island BT - The Prehistory of Rapa Nui (Easter Island): Towards an Integrative Interdisciplinary Framework (V. Rull & C. Stevenson (eds.); pp. 311–344). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91127-0_13
Research on Easter Island’s (or Rapa Nui’s) prehistory has mainly been approached from archeological and paleoecological perspectives. The reconstruction of changes in island society has been based largely on the evidence of anthropic activities found in archeological sites and on paleoenvironmental reconstructions. These reconstructions characterized the evolution of the island’s lakes and the changes in vegetation. Many studies address the date of the first human arrival and the origin of those colonizers, two issues that are still controversial. Another recurring theme has been the scientific effort to reconstruct the deforestation of the landscape focusing on the drastic deforestation during fourteenth fifteenth centuries. There are two groups of authors on this topic: those arguing that changes in Easter Island society and landscape were mainly the result of anthropogenic factors (Flenley and King 1984; Mieth and Bork 2005; Hunt and Lipo 2006; Wilmshurst et al. 2011; Stevenson et al. 2015, among others), and those that propose dynamic models combining both climate change and social drivers (Nunn 2007; Lima et al. 2020; Rull 2021).