Thor Heyerdahl born in Larvik, was a ethnographer and adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a self-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands in 1947. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between apparently separate cultures.
This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient peoples. He was appointed a government scholar in 1984. The documentary film of the expedition, itself entitled Kon-Tiki, won an Academy Award in 1951. The movie about the trip is in 2013 nominated to both Golden Globe award and Oscar award.
In May 2011, the Thor Heyerdahl Archives were added to UNESCO´s "Memory of the World" Register. At the time, this list included 238 collections from all over the world. The Heyerdahl Archives span the years 1937 to 2002 and include his photographic collection, diaries, private letters, expedition plans, articles, newspaper clippings, original book and article manuscripts. The Heyerdahl Archives are administered by the Kon-Tiki Museum and the National Library of Norway in Oslo.
More info about Thor Heyerdahl at Wikipedia.