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Dates That Matter

April 28, 1947

Thor Heyerdahl leaves Peru on the Kon Tiki, headed for the South Pacific.

 Why does it matter?

Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer, set out to prove that people from South America could have settled the Polynesian islands in ancient times by constructing sailing rafts that could survive a ocean voyage. Using only indigenous materials, Heyerdahl created a raft and set sail with a crew of six from Peru, traveled over 3700 nautical miles, and eventually landed in Polynesia, near Tahiti about four months later. Heyerdahl's theories have been criticized by anthropologists, but his expedition helped highlight new theories about the migration of ancient people.

For more information...

Kon-Tiki Museum
The site for the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo Norway. There are nice pictures of the Kon-tiki, a photo gallery of the expedition, and information on Thor Heyerdahl and his other expeditions. You can also download a 360 view of the main portion of the museum and get a virtual tour.

Thor Heyerdahl
Biography of Heyerdahl and information about his other expeditions. Warning: this site contains a sound track with a low quality midi file.

Atlas of the Human Journey
From National Geographic, this is a great interactive atlas that shows theories of population migration. There are short click-able videos that give further information about current theories of population migration.