Archaeological Discoveries / Open Lines

Hosted byIan Punnett

Archaeological Discoveries / Open Lines

About the show

Ian Punnett (Twitter) was joined by archaeology writer Ann Williams for a discussion on the book, Lost Cities, Ancient Tombs, which chronicles some of the most astonishing discoveries from antiquity. Williams revealed only a fraction of the city of Pompeii has been excavated, and another more prominent city, Herculaneum, was also buried under volcanic ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum had a library where later explorers found charred scrolls that could not be opened without substantially damaging them, she explained. New technologies now exist that can read these scrolls without unwrapping them, Williams added. She also spoke about Port Royal in Jamaica — a city with a reputation among the most wicked on Earth. An ancient earthquake caused a large portion of the city to sink beneath the sea, she disclosed.

Williams reported on the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, which had been looted twice shortly after he was buried. Guards apprehended the looters and resealed the tomb, she noted. "The things in his tomb are absolutely just drop-dead gorgeous," Williams said, describing it as the most intact royal tomb from ancient Egypt. According to Williams, King Tut married his half-sister, Ankhesenamun, and was unable to produce viable offspring. Archaeologists discovered two child mummies buried in his tomb who are thought to be his still-born daughters. If Tutankhamun had been able to reproduce, his familial dynasty would have continued and Ramesses II (often regarded as the most powerful pharaoh) may never have risen to power, she suggested.


Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Daniel in Wisconsin phoned in to chat about the so-called giants of the Mid-West. "Anytime that they're building a new road and they run into something, that whole thing gets covered up and the state comes in to scoop everything away and take it off," he claimed. According to Daniel, the government places a tent over the area, excavates (the giant remains), then continues with the road construction. "I don't know if it's giants they're discovering, it seems very odd that they would do this," he admitted.

Johnny spoke about Mystery Hill, America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, and the Celtic Theory of its origin. According to Johnny, a local historian directed him to the New England Antiquities Research Association which turned him on to the book, The Ruins of Great Ireland in New England. In it the author points to possible Celtic origin of Mystery Hill because of its similarity to other stone structures in northern Europe. Truck driver Steve, who was driving through South Dakota, commented on supposed ancient Egyptian artifacts discovered in the Grand Canyon. According to Steve, these artifacts were taken by the Smithsonian Museum and their existence has been denied over the years.

News segment guest: Tim Binnall

Bumper Music

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