Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oslo: The Kon-Tiki Museum

After lunch at the National Maritime Museum (and a quick look round) it was time for the last of the big three museums on the Bygdøy peninsular, Oslo.

The Kon-Tiki Museum, as you might have guessed, covers the expeditions by Thor Heyerdahl, in particular:

Kon-Tiki (above): from Peru across the Pacific to Raroia, Tuamotus in 1947

Ra II (below): from Morocco across the Atlantic to the Barbados in 1970.

It was interesting to see both of these boats up close - bigger than expected, rafts with sails that could go down wind/current.

Heyerdahl's  idea was that seafarers in ancient times could have crossed these vast distances with the technology of the day.

Before visiting I had the view that though the evidence was that they could have made these voyages, there was little evidence e.g. in the DNA, that they actually had. However it appears that more recent analysis suggested that while the majority of the Easter Islanders did indeed come from the rest of Poynesia, a small minority of 8% was Native American.

While measurement from a small sample, the fact that it was non-zero does suggest some form of contact, which makes these voyages more significant.

At this point was suffering a bit of boat-history-museum-history-heat overload, so decided to call it a day and go for a swim.

The water was very refreshing!

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