17.05.

1970: Thor Heyerdahl’s Expedition across the Atlantic Ocean

1970: Thor Heyerdahl’s Expedition across the Atlantic Ocean
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 17 May 1970
  • Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Morocco for Barbados. His boat Ra II was used to show that the ancient Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

This day in 1970 marked the beginning of the expedition led by Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the cane-boat Ra II.

In 1947, Heyerdahl and his five adventurers set sail from Peru to the Tuamotus, French Polynesia, in a pae-pae raft they had made using balsa wood and other native materials – the Kon-Tiki.They wanted to show that people from the pre-Columbian South America could come to Polynesia.

Heyerdahl’s 1970 expedition, however, wanted to show that the ancient Egyptians could cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Except Thor Heyerdahl, there were: Norman Baker (USA), Carlo Mauri (Italy), Yuri Senkevich (USSR), Santiago Genoves (Mexico), Georges Sourial (Egypt), Kei Ohara (Japan), and Madani Ait Ouhanni (Morocco).

It was an ethnically, religiously and politically diverse crew, whose goal was to show that different people can successfully cooperate when they are together in a small area.

The boat Ra II (named after the Egyptian Sun god) was launched into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Morocco. It followed the Canary Current, and came to Barbados.

That wasn’t Thor Heyerdahl’s last expedition. Later, he built the boat known as Tigris, and wanted to show that the people of Mesopotamia could have sailed to the Indus area.

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