Image: Chris Knutson
To assemble the boat, the reeds were tied into two large bundles around 6ft 6in (2 meters) in diameter and two smaller bundles (seen here on top of the boat sides). Next, the bigger reed bundles were tied onto a wooden framework, which created the shape of the boat. And finally, the smaller rolls were placed between these two bundles.
Reed watercrafts are among the oldest known boats in the world and, if built correctly, are remarkably stable and watertight. Indeed, Thor Heyerdahl set out to prove that they could be sailed over long voyages by sailing the world’s seas in them. However, for this expedition, the point was not distance so much as weight-bearing capability.