The Tigris Expedition
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The Tigris Expedition : In Search of Our Beginnings

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Description

Along with his companions from nine nations, Heyerdahl set sail in a boat made of reeds in search of the sea routes which he was sure must have been used by the Sumerians in vessels like his own, 5000 years ago. Heyerdahl recounts the many discoveries and hazards that occurred on his journey down the Tigris, through the Gulf and on to the Indian Ocean - tales of modern shipping, bandits, reefs and the political dispute which finally led to the ceremonial burning of the boat.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 22.86mm | 204.12g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Flamingo
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Norwegian
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 16pp b&w illustrations
  • 0006545319
  • 9780006545316

About Thor Heyerdahl

Thor Heyerdahl was born in Norway in 1914. He received the Order of Merit or similar decorations from Peru, Italy, Egypt, Morocco, Bulgaria, Norway and Sweden. He wrote many books on early travel and sea exploration. He died in April 2002.show more

Review Text

Simply by cutting berdi reeds "in August," Thor Heyerdahl builds a leakless, buoyant craft that magnificently overcomes all that Mother Nature contrives - only to succumb to pollution and politics. The result is a less rousing, less exciting adventure than that of the Kon-Tiki or the two Ra, but a more focused, scientific expedition. "The ability to navigate to given destinations had become more of a challenge," Heyerdahl writes, than the "drifts" of the Ra with the winds and the currents. Assembling his international crew at the aptly-named Garden of Eden Rest House on the Tigris River in Iraq, Heyerdahl copies the age-old methods of construction and form of a Sumerian magur - as much as can be gleaned from ancient sources and living traditions; then, with the usual multilingual mishaps, he proceeds down river to the Arabian/Persian Gulf to trace one of the earliest trade routes (ca. 3000 B.C.) from the cradle of civilization, the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, to legendary Dilmum (Bahrain), Makan (Oman?), Meluhha (the Indus Valley in Pakistan?), and Punt (Somalia?). Highly speculative about the connections between the Old and the New Worlds, Heyerdahl distinguishes himself from those with "simpler minds" (as he calls them) who believe in extra-terrestrial visitors by actually putting his theories to the test; and the expedition does indeed establish the ancient trade routes - if not the actual ports of call - already hinted at by archaeological finds. With persistent political impingements (including some stray Russians) and only passing shipboard perils, not as dramatic a story as its predecessors - but rewarding, still, as an eye-witness passage into the dim past. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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