Maya and Easter Island

Topics: Deforestation, Easter Island, Civilization Pages: 2 (553 words) Published: October 11, 2012
The Mayans and Easter Islanders had common collapses in their societies. One of their downfalls was that they both erected large statues and other unnecessary monuments to show dominance over other kings in the surrounding area. This hurt the civilizations because they occupied land that could have otherwise been used for farming. Also, since everything was done on human power alone, they used more energy and later consumed more food than usual. Another one of their problems were that neither had a large variety of foods and only small animals were available. This led to being malnourished, such as the Mayans not having enough protein in their diets. Although the two did have many similarities, they also differed from each other. One way was that the early settlers of Easter Island wasted the resources of the land while the Mayans didn’t necessarily waste what they had, but had too little food and land for the large population. Another difference was that Easter Island’s climate was relatively the same year-round while the Mayans had an unpredictable rain fall. The collapse of any society is due to the five points Jared Diamond points out; environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbors, lack of friendly trade partners, and the response to environmental changes. The Easter Islanders did not have a severe climate change. One of their problems was that they had to completely rely on themselves because they did not have any trade partners and so they didn’t have a way of getting different foods, wood, etc. They did, however, have hostile neighbors. For example, Peruvian ships captured half of their population and Europeans brought over new diseases they did not have antibodies for. Although they seemed doomed from the start, they were able to adapt to their environment. For example, they couldn’t catch many fish so they ate birds and rats and they stopped burning wood when trees on the island were endangered and burned grasses instead. In my...
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