An Interview with Dr. Richard Pettigrew

The creator of The Archaeology Channel discusses the invention and 2300-year evolution of the first keyboard musical instrument, featured also on a TAC video.

The Interview:

Invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria in the 3rd Century B.C., the hydraulis was the first keyboard musical instrument and the ancestor of the modern church organ. In 1992 Greek archaeologists recovered a fragmentary hydraulis dating from the 1st Century B.C. at the

Greek city of Dion, at the foot of Mt. Olympus. Based on this example and documentary evidence, the European Cultural Centre of Delphi finished reconstructing the instrument in 1999. 

The video, The Ancient Hydraulis, generously made available by the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, appeared on TAC in March 2002. This video tells the story of the ancient hydraulis and its modern reconstruction and includes a performance of this remarkable instrument. Its appearance on TAC prompted classical-music radio station KWAX of Eugene, Oregon, to invite ALI President and Executive Director Dr. Richard Pettigrew to the station for a broadcast interview on the subject of the hydraulis. The interview covers the history of the hydraulis as well as the relevance of archaeology to people today and the purpose behind The Archaeology Channel.

Caitriona Bolster of KWAX interviewed Dr. Pettigrew in the KWAX studio on March 14, 2002. The interview was broadcast on March 19.

About Richard Pettigrew:

Rick Pettigrew

Currently serving as Board President and Executive Director of ALI, Dr. Pettigrew received his B.A. (1970) from Stanford University and his M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1977) from the University of Oregon. In 30 years of Pacific Northwest archaeological experience, he has conducted
hundreds of field projects in diverse regions. Pettigrew has been a leader in Oregon research, producing pioneering and seminal contributions in most regions of the state. Among the many professional organizations of which he is a member are the Society for American Archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America, the Association of Oregon Archaeologists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Register of Professional Archaeologists. Reflecting an interest in digital technology dating back at least to his first computer-programming class at Stanford in 1967, he has long promoted computer applications in archaeology. Since founding ALI in 1999, Pettigrew has directed The Archaeology Channel project, a public education effort involving the use of cutting edge technology to deliver valuable information and perspectives about archaeology and indigenous peoples to a worldwide audience through compelling streaming media programming. His experience thus combines a deep research background, technological expertise, and a strong commitment to public education. Dr. Pettigrew lives in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

Water Organ(Wikipedia)

Hydraulics (Wikipedia)

The Ancient Hydraulis (TAC)

KWAX (University of Oregon)