Book launch

Invitation to the general public and members of the press:
“Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki – fiction or fact?” On the occasion of the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Thor Heyerdahls birth, the book Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki in New Light by The Thor Heyerdahl Institute is launched at the Kon-Tiki Museum October 6th, at 11 o’Clock. The event is open to the public.

The event includes a panel presentation in English, followed by a discussion and questions from the press and public (also in Norwegian). For in-depth interviews with the authors, contact editor Ingjerd Hoem: (91850335).

The panel consists of Donald Ryan (Egyptologist and Heyerdahl’s scientific assistant for many years), Willy Østreng (Senior Researcher Ocean Futures), Erik Thorsby (immunologist) and Matthew Spriggs (Pacific archaeology).

Among the many findings in the book are new blood-sample analyses that show traces of contact between Polynesia and coastal mainland America, new research on the genetic composition of the sweet potato.Also the volume presents a previously unpublished manuscript by Thor Heyerdahl where he revises the introduction to his thesis American Indians in the Pacific, on which the Kon-Tiki theories were based.

In the volume, scholars of international standing from different disciplines, confront the theories behind the Kon-Tiki expedition. Heyerdahl’s theories challenged established science. The authors have taken up this challenge! A wide range of contemporary scholarship is brought to bear on the ideas represented by the Kon-Tiki experiment. New findings demonstrate contact between Polynesia and the coast of the American mainland, but do these strengthen or disprove the Kon-Tiki theory?

The book project is initiated and financed by The Thor Heyerdahl Institute, Larvik.

Additional information about the authors:

Editor: Ingjerd Hoem (professor of social anthropology Universitetet i Oslo)


Thor Heyerdahl
Donald Ryan (Egyptology, archaeology, history) (fellow Pacific Lutheran University)
Willy Østreng (history and philosophy of science, polar research, ocean futures) (President the Norwegian Academy of Polar Science) 
Paul Wallin (Pacific archaeology) (Senior researcher, Uppsala University)
Helene Martinsson Wallin (Pacific archaeology) (Senior researcher, Uppsala University)
Grant Keddie (Marine archaeology) (Curator, Royal British Columbia Museum).
Erica Hagelberg (biology, DNA research) (Professor, University of Oslo).
Erik Thorsby (immunology) (Prof. Emeritus, University of Oslo)
Reidar Solsvik (Pacific archaeology) (Curator, The Kon-Tiki Museum)
Matthew Spriggs (Pacific archaeology) (Professor, Australia National University.)