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Sweet potatoes ruined civilization of Easter Island - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 10:54

Analysis of tartar ancient inhabitants of Easter Island showed that the main source of food for them was the sweet potato (sweet potato). It is for the expansion of crops of this culture Rapa Nui people methodically cut down palm forests on the island, which led to the collapse of the ecosystem, because of which the island's population has decreased from 15 to 2 thoUSAnd people (at the time of the arrival of Europeans).

First results of tartar Rapa Nui people XIV-XIX centuries brought a paradoxical results: there have found grains of silica, typical of palm trees - but these trees have disappeared from the island already in the XVI century. But the study of soil and collected on the island of yam tubers has shown that we are talking about phytoliths (microscopic fossils) trees that were in the way, and then - in sweet potatoes. Samples of the same starch in plaque clearly indicated batatnuyu diet Rapa Nui people.

According to scientists, sweet potato on the island brought the first Polynesian settlers in the IX century AD. As population growth islanders cut down trees (Paschalococos disperta), clearing land for crops. Already by 1500 (based on fossil pollen) once occupied most of the island palm forests disappeared, and they were replaced by weeds.

Soil erosion caused by the cutting down of forests, led to the fall harvest and population decline - from a peak of 15,000 to 3.2 million at the time of the meeting with the Europeans (1722). This process was accompanied by famine and violent conflict. Previously, scientists believed that trees were cut down to spend for fuel and building materials, but the analysis of tartar forced to assume that the main enemy of forests was sweet potatoes.


НАЖМИТЕ ЗДЕСЬ ДЛЯ ПРОСМОТРА ВСЕГО СПИСКА НОВОСТЕЙ О НЕОБЫЧНЫХ ЯВЛЕНИЯХ>>>

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