Published on May 7, 2008
Aliens in South America? Did Old World visitors before Columbus affect New World technology?
Another unexpected face. Bearded ceramic head of pre-Columbian origin from Rio Balsas, Guerrero, Mexico. An unexpected face in the New World; evidence of Old World contacts? Low relief carved on back of Precolumbian stone mirror from Veracruz, Mexico.
From the earliest time of Western post-Columbian exploration of the New World, there has been continuous speculation about the origins of the native civilizations in North, Central and South America. "The Nunnery", a Mayan structure at Chichen Itza, Mexico as drawn by Frederick Catherwood, mid-19th century.
Noting the existence of temples and palaces of finely-cut stone and superb architectural design, along with other sophisticated manifestations of material culture, the explorers and generations of their successors found it difficult to reconcile the populations they decimated with the incredible remains of complex societies. Survivors from lost continents, settlers from Biblical lands and mass migrations from the Old World were not uncommon explanation
Thor Heyerdahl has long been interested in the history of early seafaring and has advocated that the oceans, far from being obstacles, could and can be safely crossed on relatively simple watercraft by following the natural conveyances of the winds and currents.
Ra II He was the best-known proponent of the idea of human travel and cultural exchange across the oceans in ancient times. Thor Heyerdahl 1914-2002
"Ra II", the reed ship Thor Heyerdahl used for his expedition across the Atlantic, from the coast of Africa southwest toward South America, 1969.
Left above: Contemporary reed boats and boatmen on Lake Chad, Chad, Africa. Right: Aymara reed boat builders at Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, South America. Right: Examples of pre-Dynastic Egyptian rock art depicting what appear to be Large reed boats including some with sails.
“ Atmosphere and oceans know no boundaries. I know. I've floated around every one of them." – Thor Heyerdahl
Did it actually prove that the Egyptians or some other group of travelers with reed boats reached the Americas in ancient times? Of course not. It did demonstrate that boats of this sort were certainly capable and seaworthy. One could argue that in terms of survivability, the reed boat is equal, if not better, to the much larger ships used by Europeans during the early centuries of exploration. What did the Ra Expeditions prove? Reed boats still sail the Tigris River in modern Iraq
Links http://www.plu.edu/~ryandp/RAX.html http://www.viajeros.com/article409.html http://www.songdog.net/blog/archives/000162.html http://www.htwm.de/abora/csslv/kontakt-h/thumbnails/heyerdahl-port.jpg The bust of the famous scientist and explorer Thor Heyerdahl in Larvik is made from Larvikite.
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Thor Heyerdahl (Norwegian pronunciation: [tuːr ˈhæɪəɖɑːl]; October 6, 1914 – April 18, 2002) was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a ...
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