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Thor Heyerdahl proved it was possible with the Kon-tiki raft to sail from South America to Polynesia. Later he did a similar experiment to see if Egyptians could have crossed the Atlantic with boats build out of papyrus. More precisely, he didn't really prove it was possible: he proved it was not impossible. That doesn't want to say it was likely, and it ...


7

This is unproven. There are several major claims of possible prehistoric contact between Polynesians and the Americas. The Polynesian culture was the more maritime one. It reached as far as Easter Island with certainty, and why would it have not gone farther? The Inca did have seaworthy rafts but only for coasting. If Topa Inca Yupanqui's sea voyage truly ...


7

"Was it a continuous and extensive trade network with political interactions like in the ancient Mediterranean?" No. Unlike the Mediterranean, trade is much more marginal in Polynesia. The problem is that all of the islands pretty much all had the same resources. Now, within the same island chain, there was potential for specialisation in comparative ...


6

This article by Paul Wallin in Nature, July 2020, explains a recent paper by Ioannidis et al. Their genetic study makes the case that South Americans did sail to the Marquesas Islands in the late 12th century, where they encountered Polynesian people. The authors made the notable discovery that an initial admixture event between Native South Americans and ...


3

There was contact, but trade wasn't on their mind. A few factors to consider: The land is incredibly fertile. Fish are simple to gather, the land is lush and full of ready food sources, and there are tons of resources to make tools from. Islands are relatively consistent. Most islands usually contained the same generally abundant resources and there ...


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