One of the recent discussions to emerge among archaeologists regarding Rapa Nui (Easter Island) prehistory contrasts "early" and "late" estimates for initial human colonization of the island. These differing estimates, in tum, offer significantly different messages for the timing and rate of cultural evolution on the island. A recent study of eleven charcoal samples concluded that Rapa Nui was first colonized around 1200 CE. A new analysis of the same eleven charcoal samples suggests that the data are consistent with an earlier colonization date, around 900 CE. The three hundred year difference between the two estimates could mean the difference between a "short chronology" and "long chronology" to archaeologists and environmentalists alike.
Shepardson, Brett; Shepardson, Dylan; Shepardson, Fred; Chiu, Sam; and Graves, Michael
"RE-EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE FOR LATE COLONIZATION ON EASTER ISLAND,"
Rapa Nui Journal: Journal of the Easter Island Foundation: Vol. 22
, Article 4.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/rnj/vol22/iss2/4