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Thor Heyerdahl - Referat

Thor Heyerdahl was born 16.10. 1914 in Larvik /Norway. He was confused, because his father was orthodox, but his mother was interested in science. She gave him the most influence.
He drew a jungle picture when he was 7 years old. At that time nobody knew, that this picture will reflect his future. When Thor was 22 and his first wife Liv was 20, they risked together to remove the civilisation (This was 1936, a day after their wedding). The expensive journey was paid of their rich parents,
a man who was trading wine and the University of Oslo.

On Fatu Hiva they found consistence, they felt like Adam and Eve. They almost gave away all their things to the natives, that reminded of the civilisation. But soon they established, the paradise wasn't as perfect as it seemed. The natives suffered from Tubercles, sexually illnesses and Elephantiasis (swollen legs of some special worms). Of course they could be ill anytime, too. Alarming wounds and furuncles sprout on them. They had to drive to one of the neighbour islands and they almost were drowned by the waves. After one month,
they came back to Fatu Hiva, but their little tree house was destroyed. So they went to a hole.

Thor and his wife learned that they couldn't escape the civilisation. They had lived too long in there. After one year they came back home.

Thor Heyerdahl went into the war and he and Liv got separated.

Thor Heyerdahl studied geography and biology in Oslo. Once, the greatest Library about Polynesia was there. So he read all about it. There were many theories, but he had his own. The adventure dared him and he wanted to have a logical answer of the question. 1947 he started with the raft Kon-Tiki. It was a journey about 101 days and 3780 sea miles. It was his most famous trip. Nobody believed him, all said ''no''. But he did it. He went from Peru to Tahiti. He wrote a book about it." The Kon-Tiki man". It was read in 67 languages and was bought 20 million times. It made him rich, but he got also enemies.
Thor Heyerdahl was a strong man. He didn't hear the critic. Also when he tried it with the RA in 1969. It was a boat out of old Egyptian paper Papyrus.
He wanted to demonstrate the people went to America long before Columbus. He hadn't succeeded, 960 km in front of Barbados in the Caribbean he had to give up. But he didn't deliver. He made a new boat. The RA II.
With the RA II he did it. 1970 they came to Bridgetown after about 55 days. In the sixties was another expedition. He explored eastern islands. But
it wasn't enough for him. There was another expedition.
The Tigris expedition has been starting in November 1977.
The Tigris was a boat out of reed. He wanted to look, how far the Mesopotamian sailors could get 5000 until 6000 years ago.
5 months he travelled with his 10-men-crew. After about 144 days they let the boat sink, because they were angry about the war in this zone. At least he found pyramids in Tenerife.

Thor Heyerdahl had good believes. His crew were 10 very different people with other believes, countries and with other minds.
He ever had enemies, but he had also friends.

He wanted to make the world a little better. Everybody wants that, but not many people appeal to it. He did. Spring 2002 he died. But he became decoration from the King of Norway, the King of Morocco and the presidents of Italy, Peru and Egypt. A gold medal of the Royal Geography Society was given by the queen of England. He was also market out with the gold medal of anthropology and geography of Sweden. He had the dignity of honorary doctor of the university Oslo. He was a member of the science academy of New York. He was also member in the Soviet science academy and had a dignity of honorary doctor.

He loved his 4 wives, his 5 children, his 6 grandchildren and his loyal dog Reina. He was ever happy with them.

He would be also happy, if he could see that some archaeologists want to show his theory of the Vikings and that a good friend has a Thor Heyerdahl named boat. But most happy for him, I'm sure, is when were talking about him and don't forget him.

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