Volume 81, Number 4, February 2008
Article Number 48006
Number of page(s) 4
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 21 January 2008
EPL, 81 (2008) 48006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/48006

A simple mathematical model of society collapse applied to Easter Island

M. Bologna and J. C. Flores

Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá - Casilla 6-D, Arica, Chile

received 12 August 2007; accepted in final form 15 December 2007; published February 2008
published online 21 January 2008

In this paper we consider a mathematical model for the evolution and collapse of the Easter Island society. Based on historical reports, the available primary resources consisted almost exclusively in the trees, then we describe the inhabitants and the resources as an isolated dynamical system. A mathematical, and numerical, analysis about the Easter Island community collapse is performed. In particular, we analyze the critical values of the fundamental parameters and a demographic curve is presented. The technological parameter, quantifying the exploitation of the resources, is calculated and applied to the case of another extinguished civilization (Copán Maya) confirming the consistency of the adopted model.

87.23.Ge - Dynamics of social systems.
87.23.Kg - Dynamics of evolution.
87.10.+e - General theory and mathematical aspects.

© EPLA 2008