National Geographic : 1978 Dec
Toiling in the "Garden of Eden," Arabs and Bolivian Indians work together at the confluence (above) of the Tigris River with the Euphrates, mentioned in Genesis as flowing out of the first homeland of Adam and Eve. Twin hulls made up of many smaller bundles give Tigris the sta bility of a catamaran. Spiral hemp bind ings hold the hulls together and, when tightened, keep bow and stern upraised in the classic shape of many ancient vessels. After five weeks of work, the ship was ready. Over the author's objections, Arab workers sacrificed six sheep and dedicated the hull with bloody handprints (left). Sad headshaking followed a near-disastrous launching accident-proof to the Arabs that Heyerdahl himself should have sacri ficed a bull.