Archaeologists have found that diseases brought from Europe killed up to 86% of the inhabitants of the island of Tongatapu

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the Australian State University have found that the population of the island of Tongo in the Pacific Ocean has decreased by 70-86% due to diseases introduced by Europeans.

Scientists used laser scanning (lidar) to get information about the number of houses on the island of Tongatapu between the 13th and 19th centuries, before the arrival of Europeans.

This island was the capital of the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga. In addition, the authors studied the archaeological evidence and documents of the missionaries who arrived here.

In total, about 100-120 thousand people lived on the archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

It turned out that after the arrival of Europeans, the population of the main island of Tongatapu in the Kingdom of Tonga decreased from 50-60 thousand to 10 thousand people in just 50 years.

It turns out that pathogens introduced by Europeans led to the death of 70-86% of the population.

The authors’ estimates surpass all previous ones, but are generally consistent with historical evidence.

This work may change the way we study the consequences of globalization that began in the 19th century.

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