Audio News for June 18th to June 24th, 2001.

Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Claire Britton-Warren and these are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from around the world, during the week of June 18th , through June 24th.





Monday, June 18th, in Egypt, the mummies of three 5,600 year old women may suggest that the practice of mummification began 500 years earlier than previously thought and that the practice began, not with the elite, but with the working classes!  The mummies were found wrapped using advanced mummification techniques, but only on their heads and hands.





Also on Monday, in Israel, archaeologists have completed the reconstruction of an ancient Roman obelisk that was once the centerpiece of a hippodrome at the seaport of Caesaria.  Weighing more than 100 tons and standing 40 feet tall, the obelisk was found in three pieces. It was put back together with titanium pins and epoxy glue.  Experts estimate that is was toppled sometime between the 7th and the 13th centuries, after the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquest of the region in approximately 640 AD.



Original Headline:  In Once-Lost Books, the Code Behind Indian Rock Art



On Tuesday June 19th, in the United States, recently discovered ledgers are helping experts to decipher Native American rock art.  They say that most of the images are a form of picture writing, a cross-tribal code that was widely recognized in the entire Plains region.  The ledger books contain drawings by Native Americans. Some are from the early 1800’s when settlers were pushing them from their territory.  Rock art started to develop between 1600 and 1750 with simple stick figures and evolved from there.





On Wednesday June 20th, in Britain a 2,300-year-old Greek organ has been reconstructed and will be heard for the first time in a concert next week. The water powered hydraulis with it’s 24 rows of air pipes was invented by the ancient Greeks and was favored by the likes of Emperor Nero and Emperor Claudius who described it as “countless voices and deafening sound”.  Experts feared that they would never be able to rebuild the organ until the remains of one, dating to the 1st century BC, was found in Greece in 1992.





On Thursday June 21st, researchers reported finding evidence of an early Swahili culture in the sea off Mombassa. 49 anomolies were detected with remote sensing equipment two of which are previously unrecorded shipwrecks.



Original Headline:  Warrior emerges from island shipwreck



Friday June 22nd, in the United Kingdom, a unique, wooden warrior has been found near a previously undiscovered section of the wreck of the HMS Colossus.  The Colossus ran aground in 1798. Experts are saying the piece is well preserved and ‘absolutely stunning’.  The area has previously yielded cannons, lost treasures of Sir William Hamilton and thousands of shards of Etruscan vases. Further research is being delayed until the seas calm. The warrior still lies beneath the waves but has been covered to protect it until work can resume at the site.





On Saturday June 23rd, in Egypt, significant discoveries have been made at both  Karnak and Saqqara.  At Karnak, several structures were found between the eighth and ninth pylons which pre-date the earliest known structures.  Among the finds are a Ptolemaic pit containing bits of a stone stela, Roman coins and a mass of New Kingdom pottery.  In Saqqara, a team unearthed the head of a Pharaoh which was missing from the body of a previously discovered sphinx of the Pharaoh Unas.  It will be restored and re-attached in the near future.





Sunday June 24th, it was reported in the United States, that researchers lifted a 6,900-pound obelisk with just a kite and wind power, a feat they say demonstrates that the ancient Egyptians may have harnessed wind to move massive stones. The effort required just two people and a 30-foot kite. Saturday marked the fourth time the group raised the mass of stone. There are hopes that eventually a 20,000-pound obelisk might be raised.  Kite experts and Egyptologist are skeptical and expressed that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that this method was used in ancient times.



That’s the news for this week! Be sure to check back weekly for the latest audio updates.

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I’m Claire Britton-Warren. Thank you for joining us for The Audio News from Archaeologica! See you next week!