Heyerdahl hyperdiffusion

less than 1 minute read

Martin Rundkvist has been giving a series of lectures about pseudoarchaeologists. Today he writes about Thor Heyerdahl, setting his ideas into the mid-20th-century diffusionist-evolutionist axis:

Heyerdahl is mostly known not as an archaeologist, but as a great navigator, being the organiser of numerous projects where he would have a reconstruction built of some ancient boat and make an ocean voyage with it. Most famously, he travelled by balsa raft from Peru westwards to Tuamotu in 1947 (with my countryman Bengt Danielsson on board). What may not be apparent to everyone is that almost everything Heyerdahl did throughout his professional life was motivated by one overarching archaeological hypothesis: hyperdiffusionism.

Diffusion has been a recurrent topic here on the blog, the Heyerdahl reference reminds me that I haven’t finished my series from 2008. The Julian Steward post is still timely.