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Thursday, April 18

NY Times Thor Heyerdahl, Anthropologist and Adventurer, Is Dead at 87: "Fame came to Mr. Heyerdahl in 1947, at the age of 32. A tall, lean man in an appropriately Viking mold, he and five others crossed a broad stretch of the Pacific in the balsa-log raft Kon-Tiki, seeking to prove that the Polynesian islands could have been settled by prehistoric South American people. The 101-day, 4,300-mile drifting voyage on the 40-square-foot raft, a replica of pre-Inca vessels, took them safely from Peru to Raroia, a coral island near Tahiti. This demonstrated to Mr. Heyerdahl's satisfaction that his theory could be fact. He was convinced that Polynesia's first settlers had come from South America, and not from Asia by way of western Pacific islands, as nearly all scholars thought." Few people ever gave credence to his theories, but his adventures may for a good story. Hid perspective led to revaluing the achievementsof non-Western cultures.

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