His intention was to seek the origins of the Asas, following the trade set out by Snorri Sturluson in the Ynglinga saga, from the Black Sea and the river Don (former Tanakvisl) via Saxon homelands in northern Germany, Odense on Fyn, Denmark to Sigtuna, ancient Sweden. When he died, the second season of excavations were just finished.
The excavations performed in Azov, Russia, near the entry of the Don into the Black Sea have shown that Azov actually did have a population at the time of the emigration of the Asas (sometimes around 60 B.C., according to the references to Roman expansion into the Kaukasus). Furthermore, there exists today a people called the Odin-people, living in Azerbadjan, who consider themselves to be descended from the very same ancient people that supposedly emigrated to Scandinavia a long time ago. Last, but not least, the idea in Scandinavia that no people like the Asas and the Van have ever existed—well, according to Heyerdahl's findings, Russian written sources from the Kaukasus area verify not only the existence of the Asas—the Odin people of today—but also of an ancient tribe living around the area of Lake Van in todays Turkey.
The background for the project is described in a book, Jakten på Odin—På sporet av vår fortid, written by Thor Heyerdahl himself and Per Lillieström (ISBN 82-7201-316-9).