We suggest today to get acquainted with oneof the most famous people of the XX century - Thur Heyerdahl. This Norwegian anthropologist is famous throughout the world for his expeditions to exotic places and numerous books devoted to his travels and scientific research. And if most of our compatriots know the answer to the question of who is Tour Heyerdahl, then few are aware of the details of his personal life and professional activity. Therefore, we will get acquainted with this great man closer.
The future world-famous scientist andThe traveler was born on October 6, 1914 in a small Norwegian town called Larvik. It is interesting that in the Heyerdahl family it was customary to refer to sons as Tours. However, despite the fact that both for the head of the family - the owner of the brewery, and for the mother - working in the anthropological museum, their marriage was the third in a row, and they already brought up seven children, it was the youngest son who was decided to be called the family name Tour. Father, being already a middle-aged man (at the time of the birth of his son he was 50 years old), had sufficient funds and traveled with great pleasure in Europe. In his trips, he certainly took and the boy. My mother was also very fond of Tours and not only showered him with caress and attention, but also engaged in his education. It was thanks to her that the boy very early woke up interest in zoology. Such an enthusiasm and encouragement from the parents led to the fact that Heyerdahl Tour created a small zoological museum at home, the most spectacular exhibit of which was a scarecrow of vipers. There were a lot of interesting things brought from distant countries. So it is not surprising that the guests came to the Heyerdahl family not only for a cup of tea, but for a short excursion.
After graduation in 1933, Heyerdal Tourentered the University of Oslo at the Faculty of Zoology, that none of his relatives were surprised. While studying at the university, he devoted much time to his beloved zoology, but gradually became fond of ancient cultures and civilizations. It was during this period that he came to the conclusion that modern man completely forgot about age-old traditions and commandments, which eventually led to a series of fratricidal wars. By the way, Tour remained confident in this until the very last moments of his life.
At the end of seven semesters Heyerdahlu becomesboring at the university. After all, at that time he already possessed truly encyclopedic knowledge, some of which he received from his parents, and some of them was comprehended by independent study of various issues. He wants to do his own research and go on a journey to distant exotic islands. Moreover, his friends and patrons, Yalmar Broch and Kristin Bonnevi, whom he met on a trip to Berlin, were ready to help organize the expedition to the Polynesian Islands in order to find out how the fauna people inhabiting these places could be. It is interesting that this trip was for the young scientist not only an exciting adventure, but also a wedding trip. After all, before sailing Heyerdal Tour married a student of the Faculty of Economics - the beautiful Liv Cucheron-Thorpe. Liv was just as adventurous as her husband. At the same time, she not only accompanied Tours in his expedition, but was also a faithful assistant to him, since she previously studied a lot of books devoted to zoology and Polynesia.
As a result, in 1937 Heyerdahl Tour with hiswife Liv went to the far shores of the Polynesian island of Fatu-Khiva. Here they learned to survive in the wild, met with local residents and engaged in scientific research. However, after a year the pair had to interrupt their expedition. The fact is that the Tour caught a rather dangerous disease, and Liv became pregnant. Therefore, in 1938 young researchers returned to Norway. Thus ended the first journey of the legendary Heyerdahl. He told about this expedition in his book "In Search of Paradise", released in 1938. In 1974, Tour issued an expanded version of this work, which was called "Fatu-Khiva."
A few months after returning fromFatou-Khiva Liv gave birth to a son who, according to the family tradition, was given the name of Tour. Another year later, the second son - Björn - was born. The head of the family continued his scientific activity, but gradually people began to occupy him, not animals. Thus, the scientist-zoologist who left for Polynesia returned to his homeland as an anthropologist. His new goal was to search for an answer to the question of how the ancient Incas could get from America to Polynesia. Or maybe it was quite the opposite? Thus, Heyerdahl decides to go to Canada, to places where the Indians used to live. He expected that ancient legends about navigators could be preserved here. However, despite the fact that the tour traveled all west of Canada, he never managed to find the necessary information.
During the Heyerdahl expedition in Canada beganThe Second World War. Being a true patriot, Tour wanted to defend his homeland from the enemy. To do this, he moved to the United States and enlisted in the army service. During the war, the Heyerdahl family lived first in the United States, and then moved to the UK.
In 1946, the scientist is fond of a new idea: he believes that in ancient times, the American Indians could swim to the islands in the Pacific Ocean on rafts. Despite the negative reaction from historians, the Tour organizes an expedition called "Kon-Tiki" and proves its rightness. After all, he and his team were able to get on a raft from Peru to the islands of the Taumotu archipelago. It is interesting that many scientists generally refused to believe in the very fact of this journey until they saw the documentary filmed during the expedition. Returning home, Heyerdahl divorced his wife Liv, who soon married a rich American. A few months later, the couple married Ivonne Dedekam-Simonsen, who later gave birth to three daughters.
Heyerdahl never could sit for a long timeat one place. So, in 1955 he organized an archaeological expedition to Easter Island. It included professional archaeologists from Norway. During the expedition, Tour and his colleagues spent several months on the island, exploring important archaeological sites. The main attention in their work was given to experiments on carving, moving and installing the famous moai statues. In addition, the researchers were engaged in excavations on the hills of Poike and Orongo. According to the results of their work, members of the expedition published a number of scientific articles that initiated the study of Easter Island, which continues to this day. And Thor Heyerdahl, whose books have always enjoyed great success, wrote another bestseller called "Aku-Aku."
In the late 60's, Tour Heyerdahl was carried away by the idea ofsea voyage on a boat made of papyrus. In 1969, the restless explorer went on a voyage on a boat designed by the Egyptian drawings called "Ra" to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. However, due to the fact that the boat was made of Ethiopian reeds, it quickly soaked up, resulting in the members of the expedition had to go back.
The following year, a second boat was lowered onto the water,called "Ra II". It was finalized taking into account previous mistakes. Tour Heyerdahl once again achieved success, swim from Morocco to Barbados. Thus, he was able to prove to the world scientific community that the ancient navigators could swim across the ocean under sail, using the Canary Current. Expedition "Ra II" included representatives of different countries, among which was the famous Soviet traveler Yuri Senkevich.
Another well-known boat is the TourHeyerdahl called "Tigris". The researcher built this boat from a reed in 1977. The expedition route ran from Iraq to the shores of Pakistan, and then to the Red Sea. Thanks to this sea voyage, Tour Heyerdahl proved the possibility of the existence of trade and migration contacts between Mesopotamia and Indian civilization. Upon completion of the expedition, the explorer burned his boat in protest against the hostilities.
Tour Heyerdahl always longed for adventure. He did not change himself at the age of 80. So, in 1997, our compatriot and the participant of the "Ra II" expedition - Yuri Sienkevich went to a meeting with an old friend. As part of his "The Travelers Club" program, he showed the audience where Tour Heyerdahl lives. The hero of the story told of his numerous plans, among which was another trip to Easter Island.
Tour Heyerdahl, whose biography was veryrich in a variety of events, remained active and life-loving even in a very old age. This also applies to his personal life. So, in 1996, at the age of 82 years, a famous scientist and researcher divorced his second wife and married with French actress Jacqueline Beer. Together with his wife, he moved to Tenerife, where he bought a huge mansion, built more than three centuries ago. Here he was happy to engage in gardening and even assured him that he could have turned out to be a good biologist.
The great Tour Heyerdahl died in 2002 at the age of 87 from a brain tumor. In the last moments of his life he was surrounded by his third wife and his five children.