The introduction of DNA analysis, along with other findings, largely undermined Heyerdahl's theory, and despite the unusual occurrences of South American food plants on the Pacific islands, Heyerdahl's voyage in the end was not much more than an Oscar-winning film and an exciting, if risky, adventure without much scientific value. On Easter Island, father and son were referred to as Kon-Tiki Nui Nui (‘big Kon-Tiki’) and Kon-Tiki Iti Iti (‘little Kon-Tiki’). And long before Europeans first saw the white beaches of the islands. During the Second World War, Heyerdahl’s family had to live in Canada. And here, two years after the Nazi capitulation, six handsome young men sailing with the trade wind across the world’s largest ocean, landing on a Polynesian reef with coconut palms, beautiful Hula girls, you could say that this was a dream come true. The researchers behind the new DNA study suggest that the origins of the contact came from areas further north. He passed away in his family home at Colla Micheri, northern Italy, after a long illness. At the age of 17, Thor Heyerdahl Jr. joined his father on the expedition to Easter Island in 1955. Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page. “Now I’m a lumberjack”, he says happily. Here he found large quantities of ceramic pottery which could be traced to Indian cultures of Ecuador and Peru. Thor’s father, as expedition leader, had to hold a hearing and produce an official report. Later in 1949, Thor and Liv divorced, though they retained good relations. JULY—ART NIGHT at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo featuring #AlexIsrael, The Fortress of Akershus in Oslo: Ghost Stories, Famous Prisoners and the History of the Renaissance Town Christiania, Welcome to St. Hanshaugen: 10 Things to Do in Oslo’s Most Romantic Borough, Marianne Helen Nygård-Hansen about good life in Oslo, Norway, Meet Oslo’s youngest of all time Deputy Mayor: Khamshajiny Gunaratnam (Kamzy), Liv Tørres on the refugee crisis, Norway’s labour market, and the power of ordinary people to effect change. We will need recent studies of other samples. After all these years, someone recognised him. The museum is still engaged in research in the Pacific area. Thor Heyerdahl was born in Southern Norway in 1914. “I’ve never seen her since,” Thor muses. And it is from this coastal area that people are said to have embarked on trade voyages to Mesoamerica in large sail-powered balsa boats during the times before Columbus' arrival and the subsequent collapse of society. Thor Heyerdahl Sr. launched the balsa wood raft in 1947. He countered that his many expeditions, backed up by the artefacts which he had found scattered throughout Polynesia, proved his case. With his own identity established later in life, Thor’s experience of his father’s fame was no longer a burden: “I made a career as a scientist, specialising in marine mammals, live-tagging polar bears, whales, being a fishery expert for the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) under the United Nations, a fishing counsel for Fidel Castro in Cuba!” Thor has made his peace with his father’s fame: “I have a very relaxed attitude towards being the son of a famous man.”, Thor Heyerdahl Jr. is content with life. In 1939, “my father took my mother and myself, as a 1-year-old kid, to British Columbia in the Pacific coast of Canada.” He wanted to study the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast because he suspected they shared similarities with the Polynesians. He was on a honeymoon with his wife Liv in 1937–38, and it was there that he found the first signs that he thought indicated there had been early contact between South America and Polynesians,” Thorsby said. This vegetable originated in northern South America, and, the researchers write, is known to the Cañari people in Ecuador as cumal. When Thor was 17, his father asked him to join him on his archaeological expedition to Easter Island. What does the world know about Oslo, Norway? This was also observed from camp, so the expedition members swam out to the site, picked up children and pulled them ashore. Learn how your comment data is processed. This was a controversial theory. Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian anthropologist and adventurer whose imagination and vigor brought him acclaim navigating the Pacific, ... Mr. Heyerdahl's first wife, whom he … The couple got married in 1956 in the US.