They propose a dramatic lowering of the dates so that the first colonisation comes as late as AD 1200.
The weight of pollen on the anthers of cocksfoot looks enough to bow down this sturdiest of grasses, but a breeze of a mere 10 kilometres per hour is enough to shake out its mass of male gametes and waft them off to find a female flower.They then went on to analyse the dates of the first settlements for the whole of the Pacific, concluding that it was largely colonised in three separate waves, and that the third wave, includes both New Zealand and Easter Island and Hawaii, was as late as AD 1200. Islands of East Polynesia, summarizing the two phases of migration out of West Polynesia (blue shading): first to the Society Islands (and possibly as far as Gambier) between A. ∼10 (orange shading), and second to the remote islands between A. The dates for Easter Island cannot possibly be earlier than the dates of the colonisation of the other islands, Tahiti, Tuamotu and the Society Islands which must have been stepping stones for the settlers of Easter Island.They published their results in a learned paper in New Zealand, which is available on the internet: click here or here This is the map of the Pacific from the Wilmshurst et al paper, showing the two waves of the colonisation of the Pacific. From this Hunt and Lipo build up a completely new story which largely does away with the ecological disaster.But then the tree pollen declined, and flecks of charcoal appeared in the peat core indicating that the forests had been burnt, presumably by man.And from this the theory arose that the forests had been destroyed by the arrival of the Easter Islanders, and that this led to an ecological disaster.In these web pages we are therefore inconsistent; generally we follow the traditional position, while I have read with interest the revisionist version.