Kon-Tiki - Thor Eyerdhal

Thör Eyerdhal in the seventies. He was, despite his disputed theories, a great experimental archaeology pioneer. Kon Tiki in Olso Museum.

Thör Eyerdahl, born in Norway in 1914 and died in 2002, was one of the great pioneers of a new form of science that has since flourished: Experimental Archeology. An ethnologist by training, he quickly became interested in the migratory movements of the peoples of the Pacific, studying Polynesians and South Americans. It was soon controversial for his theory that the South Pacific and Polynesia were colonized by South Americans, while the opinion gained in the scientific community was a colonization coming from South-East Asia. Today, we would proceed by taking samples and analyzes adn. At the time (1946), he had no other possibility to support his theory than to put it into practice by constructing a raft of trunks of balsa, built with smart and a prehistoric technique but whose know-how Was partially transmitted in some lacustrine production (to the Andean lake titicaca for example).

The Kon-Tiki (in reference to Con Tiki Viracocha, the sun god of the Incas) had a sail, a hut, and was just enough room for a crew of 6 men, researchers like him, enthusiastic about the idea project. Its financing is largely personal and on funds of scientific sponsorship, because the scientific community does not provide any assistance, even treating its project of smuggling and predicting a failure. However, after an epic film trip that lasted three months, it finally fails to the touamotu, becoming the day in the world-famous landemain (his work that describes the expedition participates greatly), but always met the skepticism of a major part of the The scientific community, whose researches will end in much later on.

Propagated on the international stage, Thör Eyerdahl now has all the necessary funds to continue his research in experimental archeology. After his excavation and research campaigns in the Galapagos and the Easter Island, he devoted himself to a new expedition, this time aimed at proving that the ancient Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic and influence prehistoric Amerindian civilizations. The negroid face of an Olmec god, the graduated pyramids, in fact advocate for a valuable part of the historians the theory of a civilization at the origin of all others, probably based in the basin of the Indus, and then colonizing Mesopotamia and finally Egypt.

To do this, he built a new boat, this time with papyrus, with bipod mast and other characteristics of the old dynasties (2500 BC). The Râ I left in 1969, crossing the Mediterranean, then starting Its journey in the Atlantic, but it is a failure. The papyrus becomes impregnated and loses its buoyancy. In 1970, he re-experimented this time from Morocco with the Ra II, and ended, following the sea currents, by touching the ground with the barbade, proving his theory again, at least on the experimental level. It is known today with the comparative studies of the DNA strains that the first pyramids with degree are local creations, sui-generis, and the same with those of Egypt. The myth of the first civilization is today discredited.

In 1977, when the celebrated scientist (who flies to Captain Cousteau), now turns 63, he built the Tigris, a large raft of reeds, to prove the connections between the Mesopotamia of Sumerians and Africa The northeast and the Indian Ocean and in particular the valley of the Indus. He sailed to the horn of Africa, crossing the Red Sea well, but was burnt by his international crew in Djibouti, under the aegis of the researcher, in protest of the war raging on the spot. Eyerdahl grew more and more with the international organizations as limiting of the peace and ecologist. His last scientific theories concerning the mythical ancestors of the old Swedes did not receive much credit from the specialists. Nevertheless, his commitment and his media prowess earned him world fame and 11 honorary doctorates from major American and European universities. His legacy continues to emulate, even though science, with modern technological means, has immensely progressed since and reversed many of its theories
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Tigris Tenerife

The Tigris reed boat model at the Tenerife museum