“Digital Cuneiform Library Initiative”

  The Morien Institute - skywatching through the ages  

an image of a meteor flashing through the sky

Image of a   revolving globe showing current sea levels since the last   ice age, before which many ancient societies like Atlantis   flourished all over planet Earth on what are now sunken lands.

dry land discoveries – news archive 2002

text translation service for 25 worldwide languages



archive is about the various discoveries in 2002 which have helped to

create the ‘paradigm shift’

in the historical sciences that characterises the ‘new

appreciation’ of the ancient world

The Morien Institute welcomes contributions from everywhere in the world. Wherever you are, if your traditional prehistory has been challenged by new discoveries, please send us the press reports

webpage URLs and magazine stories …

1997 |

1998 |

1999 |

2000 |

2001 |

news headlines archive 2004


December 6 2002 – National Geographic News

“Was Maya Pyramid Designed to Chirp Like a Bird?”

“Clap your hands in front of the 1,100-year-old Temple of Kukulcan, in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, and, to some researchers’ ears, the pyramid answers in the voice of the sacred quetzal bird.

‘Now I have heard echoes in my life, but this was really strange,’ says David Lubman, an acoustical engineer who runs his own firm in Westminster, California. The Maya, he believes, may have built their pyramids to create specific sound effects.

A handclap at the base of Kukulcan’s staircase generates what Lubman calls a ‘chirped echo’ — a ‘chir-roop’ sound that first ascends and then falls, like the cry of the native quetzal.

To Lubman, the dimensions of Kukulcan’s steps suggest that the builders intended just such an acoustical mimicry. The lower steps have a short tread length and high riser—tough to climb but perfect for producing a high-pitched ‘chir’ sound. The steps higher up make a lower-pitched ‘roop.’


December 6 2002 – CNN.com

“Star sheds light on African ‘Stonehenge'”

“Mysterious ruins in Zimbabwe, nearly brushed this week by the shadow of a total solar eclipse, once served as an astronomical observatory to track eclipses, solstices and an elusive exploding star, a South African scientist said. The Great Enclosure in the archaeological site of Great Zimbabwe, a crumbling ring of stone walls and platforms about 250 meters in circumference, was thought to have been a palace complex for regional rulers some 800 years ago.

But Richard Wade of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory thinks that the enclosure was used in a similar capacity as the much older Stonehenge in Great Britain. The arrangement of the walls, the complicated symbols on stone monoliths and the position of a tall tower suggest that medieval Zimbabweans used the complex to track the moon, sun, planets and stars for centuries.”


December 4 2002 – The New Scientist

“Eclipse brings claim of medieval African observatory”

“Viewers of the total solar eclipse in Southern Africa early on Wednesday have also had their eyes opened by second startling event – newly released evidence that a medieval African site was an astronomical observatory.

Starting just before 0600 GMT, the shadow of the Moon took 30 minutes to cross Africa from west to east, before heading over the Indian Ocean to make landfall in western Australia around 0900 GMT. In Africa, between 0610 and 0620, the shadow crossed the southern tip of Zimbabwe, not far from the mysterious stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe, from which the country took its name.

Great Zimbabwe, built in about 1200 AD is a perplexing UN world heritage site. At its heart is the Great Enclosure – a wall comprised of over 5000 cubic metres of stone and marking a perimeter 240 metres in length. Archaeologists had assumed it was once a royal residence. But on Wednesday, archaeologist-astronomer Richard Wade, of the Nkwe Ridge Observatory, South Africa, presented his new evidence. He claims Great Zimbabwe was similar in function to Stonehenge in England, though much younger.”


November 12 2002 – The Irish Examiner

“Huge temple found under Hill of Tara “

“A HUGE temple, once surrounded by about 300 huge posts made from an

entire oak forest, has been discovered directly beneath the Hill of Tara

in Co Meath. Conor Newman, an archaeology lecturer at NUI Galway, said

the discovery at the ancient site made sense of the positioning of other

graves and monuments in the area. Mr

Newman, who has been working on the Hill of Tara under the State-funded

Discovery Programme since 1992, was delighted by the find. “It

fills a very important place in the jigsaw because it allows us to make

sense of the distribution of other monuments all around it.”


November 11 2002 – Northern Light/EFE

“Archaeologists report discovery of “lost city” in Nicaragua”

“Managua, Nov 11, 2002 (EFE via COMTEX) — Spanish and Nicaraguan archaeologists

have found what they believe is ‘a lost city’

in the jungles of southern Nicaragua, the local press reported. Remnants

of what appear to have been ‘a settlement dating

back more than 2,000 years’ are located near the town of Kukra

Hill, 650 kilometers (405 miles) southeast

of Managua, El Nuevo Diario reported Sunday. Kukra Hill is a town in Nicaragua’s

Caribbean region that is surrounded by jungle and only accessible by boat

or airplane”


October 8 2002 – National Geographic News

“Over 1000 new ‘geoglyphs’ discovered on Peruvian Nasca desert”

“Human and animal likenesses, a knife, and a sundial are among the “geoglyphs”, or giant figures etched into the earth and discernible from the sky, most recently discovered in the Peruvian desert. Peruvian archaeologist Johny Islas and German colleague Markus Reindel have identified new etchings made by the ancient Nasca people in the desert valleys of Palpa, about 460 kilometers (290 miles) south of Lima. After five years of work, the scientists were able to identify more than 1,000 new geoglyphs …”


“Digital Cuneiform Library Initiative”

On May

17 2002 a report on Newsday.com

brought news from AP that the “Digital Cuneiform

Library Initiative”, a project begun in 1998 by concerned

historians, is now available to students with an Internet connection.

These 4,000-year-old tablets, containing what is thought to be the world’s

earliest known written documents, are felt to be in great danger of disappearing

altogether if they are not catalogued electronically in the very near


“About 120,000 cuneiform tablets from the third millennium B.C. are

scattered throughout the world. Thousands more are plundered each year

in Iraq and dumped on the world antiquities market. Tablets even show

up on Web auction site eBay, where bidding can start at $1.”

Steve Tinney,

of the University of Pennsylvania, which is compiling a Web-based dictionary

of Sumerian, the first written language, told the AP about the digitisation


“It’s simply going to change the way we work because access to these

texts is slow and painful and can involve traveling thousands of miles

to see. That changing to just a click away is going to be huge,”

The texts

conatin the earliest known creation myths, legal codes, medical prescriptions

and recipes for beer. Most, however, are more mundane and include ledgers,

deeds, receipts and lists of everything from types of birds to musical

instruments and the woods used to make them, and record how people lived,

labored, ruled and wrote for millennia in ancient Mesopotamia.

The library

focuses on tablets created by scribes during writing’s first millennium,

roughly 3300 B.C. to 2000 B.C. The writing looks like a series of little

wedges connected by lines, and the term “cuneiform”

means “wedge-shaped”.

They are

available to students on the Net at: http://www.cdli.ucla.edu/


underwater discoveries news archive

news headlines archive 2002


4,500 year old“King of Stonehenge” found?”

In what

could turn out to be one of the most important discoveries in recent years,

a team of arch?ologists from Wessex Archaeology have announced the discovery

of an Early Bronze Age burial that is proving to be ‘very

rich’ in artifacts. Dated to around 2,300 BC, the site

has so far yielded ten times the number of artifacts that are usually

found in such burials, and the skeleton has been named “The

Amesbury Archer” due to the arrowheads that have been uncovered

with him. It has been described as the “richest

Early Bronze Age burial in Britain”.


to the report in BBC

Online May 16 2002, dozens of unique artifacts including “gold

earrings”, and “bronze age

weapons” have been found in what may be a prehistoric chieftain’s

grave, and may even be the grave of a king..

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

Discovered in the sleepy Wiltshire village of Amesbury, which also

gives the ‘archer’ his

name, it was first uncovered during routine excavations for a new

school development.

“Excavators have described finding a ‘dazzling’

array of grave goods including copper knives, pottery beakers, flint

tools and stone wristguards.”


of the artifacts is expected to reveal much about Bronze Age society

during the period when Stonehenge

was being built.

The skeleton

of a man between 30 and 40 years of age had wristguards to protect his

arm from the recoil of the bow.

The area

around Stonehenge is well known for Bronze Age burials, and also for the

number of megalithic sites, including the enormous stone circles of Avebury

a few miles away. The gold

earrings are believed to have been wrapped around the ear, rather

than hanging from the ear lobe, and television news items that evening

described the archer

as most definiteley a “wealthy man, possibly

a chieftain or maybe even a king”. Could this be the King

of Stonehenge?

The story

had featured the previous day on the Ananova

news service, which quoted Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, the project

manager for Wessex Archaeology:

“As well as the archery equipment, the man has three copper knives

and a pair of gold earrings … These are some of the earliest kinds of

metal object found in Britain. They were very rare and the metals they

were made from may have been imported. The fact that so many valuable

objects have been found together is unique.”

an image/link direct to the BBC story

Copyright 2002 BBC Online

The BBC reported that initial examination of the bones of the ‘archer’

had shown no obvious cause of death, though it did tell that he had

a problem with his left leg and that his teeth were worn down quite

badly. It also quoted Dr Fitzpatrick:

“It is far, far richer than any individual burial from the British

Isles at this date. It includes some of the earliest metal objects

in Britain, perhaps even the first copper and gold objects.


is clearly an elder in the community, perhaps who wielded military

authority and may be a king, a tribal leader or a chieftain of this


The find was

described by Andrew Lawson, Chief Executive for Wessex

Archaeology, as being several hundred years earlier than any other

Bronze Age site in the Stonehenge area.

Their website

claims that is, by far, the most well-furnished Beaker burial yet discovered

in Britain, and that Beaker burials have often been considered ‘rich’

if they contain four or five objects, only one of which is made of copper,

bronze or gold. It added that all the finds so far are typical of the

well-known types which form the ‘Beaker package’

that has been found across much of central and western Europe:

“In a British context the gold earrings (or perhaps

tress ornaments) are rare, with only half a dozen other findspots

known. The association of three tanged knives – almost certainly of copper

rather than bronze – is without parallel, as is the number of Beakers

from a single burial. The range of arrowheads, bracers, flints, and spatula

are amongst the largest groups of archery equipment found together. The

burial dates to the second half of the third millennium and perhaps nearer

to 2,500 cal. BC rather than 2,000 cal. BC, say 2,300 BC.”


please visit our

underwater discoveries news archive

news headlines archive 2002

before you leave


please take a look at our Ancient Mysteries Bookshoppe for a wide selection of books

that challenge orthodox views of prehistory on every continent





The Morien Institute

home |

research projects |

skywatching |

news & new discoveries |

marketspace |

contact us

morien institute

morien-institute.org 1996-2005