Skip to comments.Kon-Tiki Replica To Sail, Study Pacific In 2005
Posted on 09/06/2004 4:20:33 PM PDT by blam
Kon-Tiki Replica to Sail, Study Pacific in 2005
Sept. 6, 2004 By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - A replica of the Kon-Tiki balsa raft will sail the Pacific in 2005 to study mounting environmental threats to the oceans since Thor Heyerdahl made his daredevil 1947 voyage, organizers said on Monday.
One of Heyerdahl's grandsons will be among the six-strong crew for the trip from Peru aiming to reach Tahiti, about 310 miles west of the Raroia atoll where the Kon-Tiki ran aground after traveling 4,970 miles in 101 days.
Heyerdahl's original voyage defied many experts' predictions that the flimsy craft would break up and sink. He said it proved that ancient civilizations could have sailed the oceans with Stone Age technology.
"This time we want to highlight the environmental threats," expedition leader Torgeir Saeverud Higraff told a news conference of the trip sponsored in part by the U.N. Environment Program. "There have been many changes since the 1940s."
The forest in Ecuador where Norway's Heyerdahl found the balsa wood for the raft, for instance, has now been cut down by loggers. And global warming may be killing coral reefs and causing more frequent storms in the Pacific.
But not everything has got worse.
"We expect that oil pollution has been reduced because of tighter international laws," said biologist Dag Oppen-Berntsen. He would take water samples to study for traces of pesticides and other human chemicals that can damage marine life.
"People ask 'why don't you do this from a proper research ship?"' he said. "The reason is simply that we wouldn't get the same publicity for the research."
The new raft, called the Tangaroa after a Polynesian sea god, would be made of the same materials as the Kon-Tiki but include solar panels to help transmit pictures to the Internet. The Kon-Tiki was named after an Inca sun god.
The project would have a budget of $899,200 with the yet-to-be-built vessel due to leave the Peruvian port of Callao on April 28 -- the same day as Heyerdahl set out in 1947. Heyerdahl died in 2002 aged 87.
The original crew were five Norwegians and a Swede. So far, the new crew are just five, including a Swede. "We're one short. We still need a good navigator," Saeverud Higraff said.
people with far to much time on their hands
Yeeeeah...you might want to consider that
Actually, I just finished reading Thor's book.
When he brought up his theories, scientists poo-pooed it because there was no way that ancient Indians could have reached Polynesia. They had no ships.
So he set out to prove they could indeed have gotten there, which I believe he did quite conclusively.
He never said that his voyage would prove what happened, only what could have happened.
Great info. Thanks.
And after all isn't that what science is all about? Publicity?
Have you read his later book about their explorations on Easter Island, Aku-Aku? The stories about their crawling into the family caves absolutely made my hair stand on end (I HATE low dark places.)
Read it too.
There's another book, name slips my mind, about how he and his wife pulled a pre-hippy stunt and went to live on a Polynesian island to get "back to nature." This was back before the war.
They found out it was a lot more fun in theory than in reality.
It always is. < g > We camp and backpack a lot, but I am quite fond of (1) labor saving devices (2) civilization.
The thing is sort of lost in the hullabaloo is that Heyerdahl's theory of the settlement of Polynesia from South America was indeed proven wrong by DNA...
The problem is his voyage is far more exciting and interesting than DNA testing; a problem with science in general as the exciting stuff gets more general media attention.
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I thought that the Kon-Tiki was a replica. So the new boat will be a replica of a replica. The "Police Academy" series was bad enough.
Now that I think of it, they should get plenty of funding if they agree to take Steve Guttenberg with them.
I was a very small boy when Thor Heyerdahl ( known as "Tor" ) stopped by my Island home to visit my parents. How my Dad knew him- other than being a fellow seafarer- is lost in the mists of time.
Scientific evidence suggests that [Easter Island] was originally forested but was denuded by its inhabitants, leading to a conflict over natural resources that may have destroyed the society. [p 221]There's a great deal of hostility, a wall of rejection, against Thor Heyerdahl among many academics (Robinson blows him off in this chapter), but he recorded the native story of the destruction of the Long-ears by the Short-ears. By fire. And the folk art of the island included stylized carvings of an emaciated Long-ear, which was based on a starved specimen found dead in the great quarry some time after the massacre.
None of the rongorongo inscriptions is dated. Was the script brought to the island from Polynesia perhaps a millennium and a half ago, or invented on the island unaided by outside influences, or was it a product of contacts with European visitors in the 18th century? ...Oral tradition on Easter Island, recorded in the 19th century, has it that the first settler, the legendary Hotu Matu'a, brought 67 tablets with him from his homeland in Polynesia... [W]e know of no writing systems in Oceania. [p 223]Heyerdahl's view -- for which there has never been any scientific refutation -- was that the island was settled twice. The first population came from South America, the second from Polynesia. Heyerdahl showed a connection with S.A. in a sculpture he excavated in the 1950s. And predictably, the current excavator on Easter Island claims to be the first archaeologist ever to dig there.
[I]n 1770, two Spanish ships called in and claimed the island... Some islanders who looked like chiefs were drafted in by the Spanish to mark the 'treaty'. [Two of the characters they drew on the document] resemble common petroglyphs but which are certainly not recognizable as rongorongo. This is not conclusive evidence, though, that in 1770 the islanders were unable to write rongorongo... Nevertheless, when James Cook landed in 1774, he and his party saw no sign of writing. The first definite sighting of rongorongo does not occur until nearly a century later... in 1864... According to Eyraud, knowledge of the meaning of the signs was already dying out... more or less abandoned... within less than 90 years [of its invention]... [This] does accord with the young age of the wood in all surviving rongorongo inscriptions... [T]he largest and longest, the Santiago staff, has some 2300 characters on a wooden staff... and a second inscription, Tahua, a wooden tablet made out of a European or American oar, contains about 1825 characters. [pp 224-225]Unless there was a huge corpus of rongorongo going back centuries, that has not survived -- perhaps yet undiscovered, otherwise long ago destroyed -- the writing must have originated relatively late, because the island was treeless. I suppose driftwood could have been used, but fire was known, and in order to have fire...
The Russian 'school' began with the work the young Boris Kudryavtsev, who identified several parallel passages in four different tablets where the same, or very similar sequences of characters were clearly repeated... Butinov and Knorozov [wrote] "This gives us reason to believe that we have to do with a list of names... This position of signs shows that we have to donot simply with a list of names but with a genealogy wich ascends from descendants to ancestors. The second sign in each group gives the name of the father. [pp 231-232]That could be significant, and so could this:
Although Guy has made many contributions to the subject, his most significant one concerns the Mamari tablet... it was Guy who put Barthel's initial interpretation on a firm footing in 1990 by comparing the characters with the names for each day in the lunar month... Although not all of these suggestions have met with general acceptance, Guy's basic interpretation of the above section of the Mamari tablet is accepted by every rongorongo scholar. [pp 235-237]Robinson cites the Gauguin painting, "The Ancestors of Tehamana", which shows rongorongo signs in the background. This was cited also (and much earlier) by Barry Fell, who (though not mentioned here by Robinson) also produced a purported translation.
| Lost Languages:
the Enigma of the
World's Undeciphered Scripts
by Andrew Robinson
a couple (of many) topics mentioning Heyerdahl and also related:
Site Sheds Light on Human Arrival
Source: AP via Yahoo
Published: May 26, 2001
Posted on 05/27/2001 06:25:12 PDT by sarcasm
Who Really Discovered America?
Hope Of Israel
Posted on 07/14/2002 2:08:47 PM PDT by blam
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