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miercuri, 22 august 2012



Slide 2 Heyerdahl was born in Larvik, the son of master brewer Thor Heyerdahl and his wife Alison Lyng. As a young child, Heyerdahl showed a strong interest in zoology. He created a small museum in his childhood home. He studied zoology and geography at the University of Oslo. At the same time, he privately studied Polynesian culture and history, consulting what was then the world's largest private collection of books and papers on Polynesia. After seven terms and consultations with experts in Berlin, a project was developed and sponsored by Heyerdahl's zoology professors, Kristine Bonnevie and Hjalmar Broch. He was to visit some isolated Pacific island groups and study how the local animals had found their way there. PERSONAL LIFE

Slide 3 Larvik The university in Oslo Alison Heyerdahl

Slide 4 Just before sailing together to the Marquesas Islands in 1936, Heyerdahl married his first wife, Liv Coucheron-Torp (b. 1916), whom he had met shortly before enrolling at the university, and who had studied economics there. Though she is conspicuously absent from many of his papers and talks, Liv participated in nearly all of Thor's journeys, with the exception of the Kon-Tiki Expedition. The couple had two sons; Thor Jr and Bjørn. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1949 Heyerdahl married Yvonne Dedekam-Simonsen. They had three daughters: Annette, Marian and Helene Elisabeth. They were divorced in 1969. Heyerdahl blamed their separation on his being away from home and differences in their ideas for bringing up children. In his autobiography, he concluded that he should take the entire blame for their separation. MARRIAGES

Slide 5 Liv Coucheron Torp and Thor Heyerdahl Yvonne Dedekam Simonsen and Thor Heyerdahl. Jaqueline Beer and Thor Heyerdahl

Slide 6 In 1991, Heyerdahl married Jacqueline Beer (b. 1932) as his third wife. They lived in Tenerife, Canary Islands and were very actively involved with archaeological projects, especially in Tucume, Peru, and Azov until his unexpected death in 2002. He still had been hoping to undertake an archaeological project in Samoa before he died. Heyerdahl died on April 18, 2002, in Colla Micheri in Italy where he had gone to spend the Easter holidays with some of his closest family members. The Norwegian government gave him a state funeral in Oslo Cathedral on April 26, 2002. He is buried in the garden of the family home in Colla Micheri. COLLA MICHERI

Slide 7 The village Colla Micheri in Italy

Slide 8 The events surrounding his stay on the Marquesas, most of the time on Fatu Hiva, were told first in his book På Jakt efter Paradiset (Hunt for Paradise) (1938), which was published in Norway but, following the outbreak of World War II, never translated and largely forgotten. Many years later, having achieved notability with other adventures and books on other subjects, Heyerdahl published a new account of this voyage under the title Fatu Hiva (London: Allen & Unwin, 1974). The story of his time on Fatu Hiva and his side trip to Hivaoa and Mohotani is also related in Green Was the Earth on the Seventh Day (Random House, 1996). FATU HIVA

Slide 9 Map over the Marquesas Islands Thor Heyerdahl on Fatu Hiva Fatu Hiva På jakt efter paradiset.

Slide 10 In the Kon-Tiki expedition, Heyerdahl and five fellow adventurers went to Peru, where they constructed a pae-pae raft from balsa wood and other native materials, a raft that they called the Kon-Tiki. The Kon-Tiki expedition was inspired by old reports and drawings made by the Spanish Conquistadors of Inca rafts, and by native legends and archaeological evidence suggesting contact between South America and Polynesia. After a 101-day, 4,300 nautical mile (4,948 miles or 7,964 km) journey across the Pacific Ocean, Kon-Tiki smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947. Heyerdahl, who had nearly drowned at least twice in childhood, did not take easily to water, and said later that there were times in each of his raft voyages when he feared for his life. KON TIKI

Slide 11 Kon Tikis route from Peru to Tahiti.

Slide 12 The crew on Kon Tiki.

Slide 13 The building of Kon Tiki.

Slide 14 The start of the journey.

Slide 16 Kon Tiki museum in Oslo.

Slide 17 Kon-Tiki demonstrated that it was possible for a primitive raft to sail the Pacific with relative ease and safety, especially to the west (with the wind). The raft proved to be highly maneuverable, and fish congregated between the nine balsa logs in such numbers that ancient sailors could have possibly relied on fish for hydration in the absence of other sources of fresh water. Inspired by Kon-Tiki, other rafts have repeated the voyage. Heyerdahl's book about the expedition, The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas, has been translated into over 67 languages. The documentary film of the expedition, itself entitled Kon-Tiki, won an Academy Award in 1951.

Slide 19 The documentary about the Kon Tiki expedition

Slide 20 In 1955–1956, Heyerdahl organized the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Heyerdahl and the professional archaeologists who traveled with him spent several months on Rapa Nui investigating several important archaeological sites. Highlights of the project include experiments in the carving, transport and erection of the notable moai, as well as excavations at such prominent sites as Orongo and Poike. The expedition published two large volumes of scientific reports (Reports of the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island and the East Pacific) and Heyerdahl later added a third (The Art of Easter Island). Heyerdahl's popular book on the subject, Aku-Aku was another international best-seller. EASTER ISLAND

Slide 22 Thor Heyerdahl on Easter Island

Slide 24 In Easter Island: The Mystery Solved (Random House, 1989), Heyerdahl offered a more detailed theory of the island's history. Based on native testimony and archaeological research, he claimed the island was originally colonized by Hanau eepe ("Long Ears"), from South America, and that Polynesians Hanua momoko ("Short Ears") arrived only in the mid-16th century; they may have come independently or perhaps were imported as workers. According to Heyerdahl, something happened between Admiral Roggeveen's discovery of the island in 1722 and James Cook's visit in 1774; while Roggeveen encountered white, Indian, and Polynesian people living in relative harmony and prosperity, Cook encountered a much smaller population consisting mainly of Polynesians and living in privation.

Slide 25 Easter Island

Slide 26 Heyerdahl speculates there was an uprising of "Short Ears" against the ruling "Long Ears." The "Long Ears" dug a defensive moat on the eastern end of the island and filled it with kindling. During the uprising, Heyerdahl claimed, the "Long Ears" ignited their moat and retreated behind it, but the "Short Ears" found a way around it, came up from behind, and pushed all but two of the "Long Ears" into the fire.

Slide 27 Dancer on Easter Island

Slide 28 In 1969 and 1970, Heyerdahl built two boats from papyrus and attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco in Africa. Based on drawings and models from ancient Egypt, the first boat, named Ra (after the Egyptian Sun god), was constructed by boat builders from Lake Chad using papyrus reed obtained from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and launched into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Morocco. RA 1 AND RA 2

Slide 29 Ra,s route over the Atlantic

Slide 30 RA 1 expedition

Slide 31 After a number of weeks, Ra took on water after its crew made modifications to the vessel that caused it to sag and break apart. The ship was abandoned and the following year, another similar vessel, Ra II, was built of totora by Demetrio, Juan and Jose Limachi from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and likewise set sail across the Atlantic from Morocco, this time with great success. The boat reached Barbados, thus demonstrating that mariners could have dealt with trans-Atlantic voyages by sailing with the Canary Current.

Slide 32 Ra 2 expedition

Slide 33 The book The Ra Expeditions and the film documentary Ra (1972) were made about the voyages. Apart from the primary aspects of the expedition, Heyerdahl deliberately selected a crew representing a great diversity in race, nationality, religion and political viewpoint in order to demonstrate that at least on their own little floating island, people could cooperate and live peacefully. Additionally, the expedition took samples of marine pollution and presented their report to the United Nations.

Slide 34 The book about the Ra expeditions

Slide 35 Heyerdahl built yet another reed boat, Tigris, which was intended to demonstrate that trade and migration could have linked Mesopotamia with the Indus Valley Civilization in what is now modern-day Pakistan. Tigris was built in Iraq and sailed with its international crew through the Persian Gulf to Pakistan and made its way into the Red Sea. After about 5 months at sea and still remaining seaworthy, the Tigris was deliberately burnt in Djibouti, on April 3, 1978, as a protest against the wars raging on every side in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa. In the years that followed, Heyerdahl was often outspoken on issues of international peace and the environment. The Tigris was crewed by eleven men: Thor Heyerdahl (Norway), Norman Baker (USA), Carlo Mauri (Italy), Yuri Senkevich (USSR), Germán Carrasco (Mexico), Hans Petter Bohn (Norway), Rashad Nazar Salim (Iraq), Norris Brock (USA), Toru Suzuki (Japan), Detlef Zoltze (Germany), and Asbjørn Damhus (Denmark). TIGRIS

Slide 36 Tigris voyage. Tigris The burning of Tigris.

Slide 37 Heyerdahl made four visits to Azerbaijan in 1982, 1994, 1999 and 2000. Heyerdahl had long been fascinated with the rock carvings that date back to about 10,000 B.C. at Gobustan. He was convinced that their artistic style closely resembles the carvings found in his native Norway. The ship designs, in particular, were regarded by Heyerdahl as similar and drawn with a simple sickle–shaped lines, representing the base of the boat, with vertical lines on deck, illustrating crew or, perhaps, raised oars. Based on this and other published documentation, Heyerdahl proposed that Azerbaijan was the site of an ancient advanced civilization. He believed natives migrated north through waterways to present-day Scandinavia using ingeniously constructed vessels made of skins that could be folded like cloth. When voyagers traveled upstream, they conveniently folded their skin boats and transported them via pack animals. THE SEARCH FOR ODIN

Slide 38 Odin

Slide 39 Heyerdahl also investigated the mounds found on the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. There, he found sun-oriented foundations and courtyards, as well as statues with elongated earlobes. Heyerdahl believed that these finds fit with his theory of a sea-faring civilization which originated in what is now Sri Lanka, colonized the Maldives, and influenced or founded the cultures of ancient South America and Easter Island. His discoveries are detailed in his book, "The Maldive Mystery." THE MALDIVE ISLANDS

Slide 40 The Maldive Islands Thor Heyerdahl

Slide 41 In 1991 he studied the Pyramids of Güímar on Tenerife and declared that they were not random stone heaps but pyramids. He believed that he discovered their special astronomical orientation, claiming that the ancient people who built them were most likely sun worshipers due to the alignment of the pyramids. Heyerdahl advanced a theory according to which the Canaries had been bases of ancient shipping between America and the Mediterranean. TENERIFE

Slide 42 In subsequent years, Heyerdahl was involved with many other expeditions and archaeological projects. He remained best known for his boat-building, and for his emphasis on cultural diffusionism. He died, aged 87, from a brain tumor. After receiving the diagnosis he prepared for dying by refusing to eat or take medication. The Norwegian government granted Heyerdahl the honor of a state funeral in the Oslo Cathedral on April 26, 2002. His cremated remains lie in the garden of his family's home in Colla Micheri. THE LAST YEARS

Slide 43 Thor Heyerdahls funeral.


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