Once again for Ra, Science News, May 16, 1970 –
Last year … a seven-man international crew was abandoning a disabled boat made of papyrus that in two months had taken them 2,700 miles westward in the Atlantic toward Mexico…. Nevertheless explorer-anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl, designer and pilot of the Ra, refused to admit defeat…. Late this week, Heyerdahl and his crew were awaiting suitable weather to set off on a second attempt at an Atlantic crossing.
On July 12, 1970, Heyerdahl’s crew crossed the Atlantic in a second papyrus vessel called Ra II. Heyerdahl wanted to show that ancient Egyptians could have reached the Americas centuries before Europeans did. No evidence of ancient New World Egyptians has been found. But the idea that early civilizations traveled long distances by sea was right. Egyptian and Mesopotamian glass beads reached southern Scandinavia via sea trade by around 3,400 years ago. And seagoing traders connected Viking Age Scandinavians with Muslims in West Asia and the Mediterranean more than 1,000 years ago.