304 - "SPECIAL FROM EGYPT AND ISRAEL"
Saving The Coral Reef: Reef Madness
Stairway to Heaven: The Pyramid Builders
Neot Kedumim: Nogah's Ark
That's My Baby: Newborns and Their Moms
Desert Rescue: Stork Haven
Wingate Institute: Sports Imports
Parting the Waters: Miracle in the Red Sea?
Ancient Flutes: "Tunes From the Tomb"
FLOWERS Welcome to this special edition of FRONTIERS. I'm
Woodie Flowers, and right now, I'm in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The faithful of three great religions come here to worship.
And fabled monuments draw tourists from all over the world.
Sightseers on an exotic vacation, true believers on a pilgrimage...participants
in a never-ending procession. But our itinerary in the next
hour will take us on yet another kind of tour, as we explore
science and technology here, in Israel ... ... and here, in
neighboring Egypt. We're going to reveal some new discoveries
about the astonishing achievements of ancient times -- like
these pyramids -- and we'll see some delightful ways science
is influencing life in this region today. So come on along,
for this rare and exciting look at the Middle East. First
we're going to leave Egypt, and head back to Israel -- where
we'll plunge into an underwater paradise.
THE CORAL REEF: REEF MADNESS
NARRATION The Red Sea is home to one of the richest
coral reefs in the world. These are the corals, living animals
which give the reef its color and vibrancy. The reef itself
is made up of the skeletons of many generations of dead corals.
Reef building takes hundreds of years. A stunning variety
of fish and more exotic marine animals --like this octopus
-- are attracted to the reef for the food and shelter it provides.
And there's one more species that likes it here. Israel has
less than one mile of reef, and almost a million visitors
each year who come to see it. For the resort town of Eilat,
the reef is a gold mine, and the tourist business is booming.
But just beneath the surface, there's trouble in paradise.
The reef here is extremely shallow, and simply by stopping
to rest on it, or breaking off a tiny piece, snorkelers and
divers are destroying it, bit by bit. In many places, the
fragile living layer of corals is gone. Hudi Benayahu of Tel
Aviv University has a mission: a life long student of the
reef, he's now setting out to save it. Surprisingly, the key
to the reef's survival may be here, in this man-made structure.
You'd never guess from looking at it above water, but this
enormous oil jetty houses one of the richest reef environments
in Eilat. And for Hudi, it has become an underwater laboratory.
In the 5 years he's been diving here, Hudi has witnessed an
astonishing population explosion in corals and fish. In fact,
the reef on this artificial structure is growing even more
rapidly than a healthy, undisturbed natural reef.
It's very exciting for reef scientists, because we have here
a huge diversity of organisms that developed here within a
very short time. Normally, we are speaking about long term
processes, and here we got, well not everything, but many
things within 2 decades.
FLOWERS But why are corals here multiplying so furiously?
Figure that out, Hudi realized, and he'd have the power to
try something really bold: to build his own reef. It's an
ambitious goal, but Hudi's just the person to tackle it. 20
years of research have made him one of the world's experts
in coral reproduction. With his student Nogah Hareuveni Shiloach,
he's now reconstructing the life history of a species called
Oh, this is nice. There's a very young polyp that just settled
last night this is the first time that I've seen this.
FLOWERS For Hudi to build a successful reef, he'll have to
recreate in the ocean all the events that are now going on
in this small dish of water. That's not so easy. Coral reproduction
is a pretty complex affair. Take a look at what's happening
right now in this microscopic world. These are newborn corals,
called larvae. They're about 3millimeters long. This larva
is searching for a home. Like all animals, it needs food and
shelter, so it chooses a surface that is coated with algae
and other living organisms. This is why the jetty is such
a magnet for corals. Its protective barbed wire provides lots
of surface area, all covered with algae. Once it's settled,
the larva starts to contract and change shape; soon, tentacles
start to form. At this young age, the polyp, as it's now called,
is in an extremely vulnerable state. Here's why: Most natural
reefs are horizontal and flat. That means even an innocent
swimmer can stir up a fatal cloud of loose sand and debris.
When that cloud settles on the reef, it suffocates any young
polyps in its way. The jetty has an essential advantage here:
it's vertical, offering the unprotected polyps a much better
chance of survival. And that's why the jetty reef is growing
so much more rapidly than the natural reef. If the polyp survives
this stage, it starts to grow. In a remarkable way, called
budding. The large polyp on the right has just budded to form
the smaller one. Eventually, the original polyp grows into
this huge colony. Once it's made it to this stage, it will
probably survive. But one colony can only grow so big, the
key to a healthy reef is reproduction. And that's the next
step. Here are the eggs and sperm sacs. These white dots are
developing embryos. Soon, a larva emerges. Pushed out of the
parent colony, the larva now must try to establish a new colony
on a different part of the reef. It starts its search for
a home. And here it is: a coral dream home. Surface area galore,
and all of it vertical. 8 tons of steel, 40 feet high. Everything
Hudi's learned about coral reproduction is embodied in this
enormous double pyramid. In the spring of 1992, the pyramid
was lowered to the ocean floor. Now it's up to the forces
of nature to finish the job. 5 months later, Hudi and Nogah
are setting out to check on the pyramid's progress.
This is the spot over here, you see these buoys here, 50 meters
below, this is the spot. The site is deep and remote, to keep
it hidden from wandering divers. But Hudi dives here every
month, to see if the pyramid's attracted any permanent settlers.
And he's not disappointed. No corals yet, but the steel pyramid
is teeming with life. A wide variety of species are creating
just the kind of organic carpet that coral larvae like to
settle on. It's amazing -- within a period of 5 months, the
whole structure is covered with many many organisms -- a lot
of invertebrates. We saw quite a lot of fish as well. At this
rate, the first coral settlers should be arriving within just
a few months. Then, many more fish will come. And, if all
goes well, maybe as soon as a decade from now, this steel
pyramid will be transformed into a thriving coral reef. But
Hudi has an even grander vision: build a dozen pyramids, and
create a new paradise for divers. And that's how Hudi hopes
to save the reef: by giving it the time it needs to rebuild
itself, undisturbed. This might be the best way to preserve
both the tourist economy of Eilat and the natural treasure
it depends on.
TO HEAVEN: THE PYRAMID BUILDERS
NARRATION Home to 15 million people, Cairo is the
largest city in Africa. But here, where the modern metropolis
meets the edge of the desert, is the Giza Plateau, site of
some of the wonders of the ancient world. This whole complex
was designed by the pharaohs and their architects more than
4,000 years ago. Their age, their silent eloquence, make them
seem eternal. How did those early Egyptians build these monuments?
It seems like every archaeologist has a different theory.
One thing all those theories have in common is that there
must have been a whole lot of very skilled people. But while
almost everyone knows something about King Tut, no one has
a clue about the people who actually did the work. That's
the biggest remaining mystery of ancient Egypt. But now --
for the first time -- we're finally getting a glimpse of who
those workers were, and how they lived. It's early morning,
and this team of Egyptian archaeologists is heading to work.
Four thousand years ago, their ancestors used this same gate
each day, as they walked to work at the pyramids. In those
days thousands of construction workers and their families
must have lived here on the Giza Plateau. And yet, no trace
of them has ever been found -- until now. Egyptian archaeologists
have combed the sands of Giza and revealed a fascinating discovery:
Within sight of the pyramids -- a graveyard of the pyramid
builders. Each one of these stone piles is the tomb of an
ancient worker. There are small tombs, shaped like mini-pyramids,
for common laborers. And there are larger, fancier tombs for
managers. Archaeologist Mansour Radman found this one belonged
to a foreman.
RADMAN And here is a wonderful vaulted ceiling made of mud
brick with a false door. And above this false door a stella
which contains the name of the owner of this tomb. And you
can read here that this is an offering were given by the king
and also by the god Anubis for the beloved person Ptah Shepshu.
NARRATION Ptah Shepsu was just a foreman. But it's
clear that he commanded respect. In fact, the whole site resolves
a long debate: the pyramid builders were not slaves. They
were workers and artisans, valued for their individual skills.
And at the dig, new evidence is coming in every day to reinforce
this idea. To Zahi Hawass, it's an stunning breakthrough.
He's one of Egypt's leading archaeologists and director of
the entire pyramids complex.
HAWASS This statuette is for an overseer of the workmen. This
discovery proves also that these people were not treated by
the king poorly. No, they were treated and respected by the
king because those are the people who built the pyramids and
tombs. Those are the people who made the king eternal. Without
them the king will never be a god. That's why he cared about
them, they were buried beside him. And they made beautiful
statues, even more beautiful than kings and queens and nobles.
The builders came here to help their pharaoh prepare for eternal
life. But astonishingly, they prepared themselves in the same
way! These tombs were more than a final resting place, they
were vessels for a journey into the afterlife. That's why
the dead were sent on their way with beer jugs. No one who
lived and worked in the desert would embark on eternity without
something to drink. This woman was sent along to grind grain
for bread. Statues like this are common in royal tombs. Finding
one here symbolizes everything that's being revealed a% the
site: the workers, like the pharaoh they served, were entitled
to respect, in life and in death. More exciting information
is emerging with each excavation. So there's great anticipation
at the site when one of the small tombs is opened. Each layer
of rock and sand is carefully removed and sifted for clues.
Two feet down, they come to the outline of a coffin. It's
a box made of sycamore wood, which must have been imported
at great cost.
NARRATION Beneath the coffin, the edge of a skeleton
is revealed. This is a human hip bone. The vertebrae. Then,
a hand at rest. For the Egyptian archaeologists, it's a powerful
sensation to come face to face with their own history.
MUHSIN It is a very strange feeling. How to meet this man
or woman. You can feel that you are talking to him and he's
talking to you, saying hello or something like that, after
all these years of silence. From the shape of the pelvic bone,
Dr. Azza el-Din can identify the remains. She was a young
woman, just twenty years old when she died. Though she was
lovingly prepared for death, her life was short and full of
AZZA EL-DIN From looking at the spine we can see if there
is any compression of the vertebrae or any lipping at the
edges. We can tell that they work hard or that they carry
heavy weights or something like that.
NARRATION This cemetery on the Giza Plateau is rewriting
the story of the pyramid builders. From the lives and deaths
of ordinary people comes a priceless discovery.
HAWASS People always look for gold inside tombs and treasures.
But gold and treasures never reconstruct the Egyptian history.
Ail what we find at the Giza Plateau reconstructs a very important
part of the Egyptian history. It gives information about people
that we never knew. It gives information about how they worked,
how they did it, how they cut the stone, how they built the
pyramid, how they lived, how they died. Ail this information
for the first time, people are going to know about it.
KEDUMIM: NOGAH'S ARC
NARRATION Israel is the land of the Bible, and here
people take that quite literally. Every part of this 625 acre
park is designed to bring the flowers, tree, and plants of
the Bible to life. That's why it's called Neot Kedumim, "oasis
of the ancestors." I've asked its founder, Nogah Hareuveni,
to take me on a tour.
HAREUVENI What I would like to show you -- these 2 plants
-- why they are planted here together. This is cedar of Lebanon
-- its seeds brought from Lebanon and planted here. And this
is the hyssop which grows out of the rock as it's written
in the bible. And together they come in the bible as symbols
-- two contradicting symbols. The cedar of Lebanon was the
symbol of haughtiness, of pride -- very tall -- and King Solomon
brought them from Lebanon in order to build the temple and
to build his palace. The hyssop -- it is much more useful,
as a medicinal plant and in many other uses. So Jesus, when
he was on the cross, they gave him hyssop. This also was the
symbol of humbleness.
NARRATION Then Nogah took me to see the most important
prop in another famous Bible scene -- the story of Samson
HAREUVENI Woodie, I would like to demonstrate to you -- a
little demonstration -- how the rope can be twisted from the
bark of this Yitran bush. I just can peel the bark and be
very careful to peel only a narrow strip, not to kill the
branch. We have only a few of them here.
NARRATION How are we going to get rope out of that?
HAREUVENI The fact that this bark has such thin fibers --
very fine fibers -- this is the secret of these pieces of
bark which enables us to make ropes. And now just to show
you the beginning of twisting a rope. Remember, Delilah was
a secret agent for the Philistines, and while Samson pretended
to be asleep, she tied him up with seven strands of rope made
from this Yitran bush. His reputation as the strongest man
in Israel really took off when Samson "burst these ropes asunder."
NARRATION As we continued our trek around Neot Kedumim,
Nogah showed me many more trees and planks that echo passages
from the Bible. In times of drought, a thicket of myrtle --
which flourishes without much water -- symbolized hope for
a successful harvest. The willow tree is an emblem of the
Promised Land. The Israelites camped under willows when they
arrived on the banks of the River Jordan. That was their deliverance
from years of wandering in the Sinai desert -- commemorated
here by these date palm trees. This place really lets you
see and experience the settings of the Bible .... That's my
kind of history lesson.
MY BABY: NEWBORNS AND THEIR MOMS
NARRATION At Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem,
a baby is about to be born. As director of neonatal care,
Arthur Eidelman has witnessed thousands of births. But he
has never ceased to wonder at the mysterious process of bonding
that goes on in these first moments. Hebrew University Psychologist
Marsha Kaitz has teamed up with Dr. Eidelman to learn more
about how mothers and infants bond. They're starting at the
beginning. They want to find out how a mother can even tell
which baby is hers immediately after birth. So, strictly for
scientific purposes, Marsha is taking baby pictures. Susan
gave birth 24 hours ago. Since then, she has spent 3 hours
with her baby. Arthur asks her to pick out her baby's photograph.
As it turns out, this is not Susan's baby. This is Susan's
baby. Marsha and Arthur have found that new mothers have trouble
recognizing their babies by sight until they've spent at least
5 hours together. This woman is a control subject in the experiment.
She is not a mother. Without being told why, she has been
asked to spend one hour with this newborn. The astonishing
finding here: most non-mothers can pick the right photograph
after spending just one hour with an infant. Remember that
new mothers need at least 5 hours. What's going on here? Why
are they so bad at recognizing their babies by sight. Maybe
something happens to new mothers after the rigors of childbirth.
It dawned on us that maybe their intelligence or other cognitive
senses may not be working as they did prior to the birth,
something goes on after birth that somehow changes the cognitive
layout of the women.
NARRATION An IQ test sheds light on this theory.
Susan now has to recall the details of this simple story.
She's having trouble. And when Marsha gives her a visual memory
test, Susan does no better. In fact, for 24 hours after childbirth,
most women's test scores are below average. Marsha and Arthur
call it the mushbrain effect. But mushbrained Moms do know
which baby is theirs. To find out how, Marsha is collecting
undershirts. The tests only measure higher brain functions,
like intelligence and memory. Marsha thinks something much
more basic might be at work here.
We know that animals who can recognize their own babies use
smell, so we're testing whether human mothers might also be
able to use smell to identify their babies.
Take out the undershirt from the bag, smell it and tell me
which one belongs to your baby.
NARRATION Elana has spent less than one hour with
her baby since birth. She has three undershirts to choose
Are you ready to choose?
Are you one hundred percent sure?
ELANA One hundred percent.
NARRATION And she's right. So smell seems to work.
What about touch? This mother, who has both her eyes and nose
blocked by the blindfold, has to pick out her baby by feeling
the back of its hand. She, too, chooses the correct baby without
hesitation. So mothers can recognize their babies by touch
or smell. That's an important finding for the researchers,
but it's no surprise to the mothers.
A mother knows her own baby's smell, it's part of being a
NARRATION Their relationship will get more complicated
soon, but we now know that mother and child start their lives
together at a very primal level.
Nature apparently has designed a way for the mother to recognize
that that infant is hers, and to begin to build that attachment
and the sooner that she builds that strong attachment, the
better it is for the baby in the long run.
RESCUE: STORK HAVEN
NARRATION Every fall, Israel gets about 150 million
of these magnificent visitors -- all migrating from their
summer homes in Northern Europe to their winter grounds in
Africa. The migrating birds get a boost from the geography
here: hilly terrain and high temperatures create warm air
drafts called thermals. The birds hitch a ride on these thermals,
and glide for miles without having to do much work. Since
their total migration stretches thousands of miles, this Middle
Eastern vacation is welcome. But the birds don't have the
skies to themselves. Air Force pilots train constantly over
the tiny patch of land which is Israel, and since they train
low, they use exactly the same air space as the birds. During
migration season, collisions have become inevitable, and often
fatal. So bird watching teams like this one have staked out
the width of Israel, one group every 2 or 3 kilometers. They've
come from all over the world to be part of an unusual military
operation -- doing reconnaissance on birds. For 6 weeks the
birdwatchers watch the skies all day, every day. The teams'
sightings are collected by Chaim Alfiya, whose van doubles
as a mobile radar station. I've asked Chaim to show me what's
in the skies today.
We can just see a long stream of storks entering the screen
from north northeast -- that's about 2,000 storks entering
and it's all one, a long stream, one is following the other.
The speed here is about 20 to 30 miles per hour, which is
quite fast. It means that they are gliding now.
NARRATION Immediately, Chaim communicates this information
to the Air Force. The dispatcher then relays details of the
flock migration to the training commander. Flight patterns
are altered, and the storks continue undisturbed. So far,
the program has been a resounding success, saving the lives
of pilots and of birds. But a safe right of way through Israel
does not mean that the birds are home free. We'll see they
still have a tough journey ahead of them, as they fly on into
Egypt. This barren land is the Sinai desert ... no water,
shade or food. As they fly south the birds must cross the
mountainous peninsula. This is the most grueling leg of the
long migration. Then, at the tip of the Sinai, beside the
Egyptian tourist town of Sharm el Sheikh, they hit the Red
Sea, stretching out before them toward Africa. The storks
have stopped here for hundreds of years to rest up before
crossing The sea. Each fall, about forty thousand storks stop
over. There's water, rest, and as on any long trip, some arguments.
But now, there's a new attraction that lures the storks. On
the outskirts of town is the regional landfill. For the hungry
birds it's an appealing food source ... and a deathtrap. This
"home video" shows the lethal hazards -- trash fires, barbed
wire, plastics and glass kill hundreds of birds. Three years
ago Adly Mestikawy decided that the storks deserved a better
welcome in Sharm el Sheikh. And, since he owns a local hotel,
he invited them over. Everyone in town has gotten behind the
idea, so these days Adly's lobby is full ... of white storks.
This is the reception desk for a unique stork rescue center.
Injured birds are transferred to the center's field hospital.
It's a shoestring operation. Staffed and funded solely by
volunteers, it's a safe haven for birds in trouble. Adly directs
the project with the help of veterinarians Jim and Susan Dinsmore.
This patient burned his foot in the dump. The wound's so bad
that he's worn his elbow off standing on it. They have to
act fast to save this one.
This bird has a very bad systemic infection from the burns.
He's got gangrene in his left leg, it's going to have to be
amputated. Right now we're worried about secondary septicemia,
blood poisoning. A shot of tetracycline will stem the infection.
This kind of emergency room care was what the stork rescue
center was set up to do. But today the volunteers find themselves
confronting a much broader health crisis. Many more storks
are being found like this -- too weak to move. Completely
dehydrated and malnourished, this bird is near death.
WORKER How many cc's of Nutracal do you think he needs?
Oh what do you think, forty?
NARRATION The diagnosis is migratory stress. And
the prescription is force feeding with a high-calorie formula.
SUSAN Okay, just open your mouth a bit.
NARRATION The hardships of the desert crossing bring
on the symptoms of migratory stress ... birds that leave Europe
unprepared for a 6000 mile trip just run out of steam in the
They're non getting enough to eat before they come. But their
migratory instinct is so great that when it kicks in they
fly. And they're too weak to fly when they leave but they
come anyway. And so by the time they get here they're totally
exhausted. To reach exhausted birds before they need intensive
care, the center has launched a mass feeding campaign. High
protein fish and squid donated by hotels make a welcome feast
that's a life saver for many storks.
NARRATION Back at the hospital, the burn victim
has recovered from his amputation. This traveler won't need
Adly's hospitality much longer.
Once he can eat normally and drink he will be released and
hopefully he can make it and fly with the rest of his people.
NARRATION With only basic supplies and clever techniques,
the volunteers are making a real difference.
JIM We're going to have a lot of gloves with missing fingers!
Well, it's working nicely anyway.
NARRATION But some birds don't make it. And what's
worse, Jim is detecting a pattern behind these deaths. On
a healthy stork, bones are smooth to the touch. But on many
of the birds that die of migratory stress, the bones look
different. They're porous and pitted instead of smooth. To
Jim that's a tell-tale sign of poisoning.
These birds were born with these deformities. More than likely
this is due to ingestion of insecticides, or possibly herbicides
or maybe chemical wastes. We saw more this year than last
year and I'm afraid we'll see more next year than this year.
The effects are damaging. Healthy bones are full of marrow.
But the porous bones are almost empty ... which weakens the
NARRATION Jim believes the cause of the problem
is far away ... in Europe where the storks summer and raise
their young. Feeding on earthworms and insects, the chicks
are exposed to harmful chemicals. And because of these environmental
hazards, the migration claims more lives than it has to.
NARRATION So in the Sinai, they face a tough job.
But the volunteers believe that saving the storks is worth
it. Today, with the help of new recruits -- a visiting school
group-- more patients are ready to head home.
"You release this one ...
NARRATION It's a successful send-off. With luck,
these storks will be back again next year, and the volunteers
are planning an even warmer welcome.
We're just learning. For three years we're learning, what's
the problem and how to solve it. Every day we release one.
Every day we catch one before it dies and help. I think it
makes me feel I'm a human being and I'm not that bad at the
INSTITUTE: SPORTS IMPORTS
NARRATION Welcome to the Wingate Institute, training
ground for Israel's top athletes. At the Wingate, success
comes from lots of hard work, the right technology, and a
new competitive edge: Recent Russian immigrants. In the last
few years, almost half a million Soviet Jews have immigrated
to Israel. These are some of the lucky ones -- Russian sports
scientists now working at the Wingate. Most of the new immigrants
-- many of them scientists and professionals -- are still
struggling to find work in their field. But the Wingate welcomed
this group with open arms. The Soviets had a long tradition
of Olympic excellence, so they have a lot to offer Israeli
sports. Boris Blumenstein was a top sports psychologist in
the Soviet Union. He's coaching Alex, in blue, also a recent
immigrant. Alex represented Israel in the last Olympics. But
occasionally his concentration falters. These lapses cost
him dearly. This is where Soviet expertise can help. Boris
has developed a biofeedback technique to help athletes improve
their concentration. Electrodes placed on the scalp muscles
will measure Alex's skate of excitement. After a brief period
of relaxation, Boris plays a tape of the match. As Alex starts
to get involved, his excitement level rises. The goal here
is control: Boris is teaching Alex to raise and lower his
excitement level at will, so he'll be able to use this concentration
tool in action. After taking his excitement level to a fevered
pitch, Alex must then bring it down again.
BORIS This technique of learning to control relaxation and
excitement, this is the basis of all good sports, the ability
to relax and mobilize yourself at any given moment.
NARRATION A few days later, Alex has a rematch;
his concentration is already improving. Igor Dobroy is a mathematician
with a specialty in biomechanics. He also worked with the
Soviet Olympic team. now He' s applying his skills to Israeli
sports. His partner is Dario Lieberman. This weight lifter's
coaches think he has great potential, but right now he seems
to be stuck at 250 pounds. Using sensors to analyze his motions,
Igor and Dario might be able to help. They have built a computer
model of the ideal or expected weight lifting motion -- that's
on the left. Then, with the sensors, they can reconstruct
the observed motion -- that's on the right. The next step
is just to compare the two. It's easy to see that at this
point, our weight lifter's knees are not bent enough, he's
leaning too far forward. Here, this becomes an even bigger
problem; he's about to lose his balance. Although it looks
obvious on the computer, it's a subtle problem that was impossible
for the coaches to see during training. Igor is also working
with Ilan, a young Israeli runner. This thin sensor will record
the rhythm of Ilan's stride as he runs. Here's the problem
Dario and Igor want to solve: Ilan is inconsistent. During
this 400 meter run, his speed goes up and down. The beeps
yield a surprising amount of information: how long each stride
is, how much time between seeps, when the heel and toe of
each foot touch down. A mathematical model then puts this
information together with Ilan's height and weight, and comes
up with his ideal tempo. The steps are slightly faster than
what Ilan was doing on the track, which means each stride
will be a little shorter. But most important, the rhythm is
unchanging. Internalizing this rhythm will help Ilan make
the best use of his power. It could even be his ticket to
the next Olympics. Israel has never been a serious contender
in world sports. But now, with the help of the new immigrants,
things might be about to turn around.
THE WATERS: MIRACLE IN THE RED SEA?
FLOWERS It's really hard to believe that right along here
just may have been the site of one of the Bible's most miraculous
moments. Scene from "Ten Commandments"
What is it Joshua, what is it?
I've ordered men to block the pass. How can we fight chariots?
Nothing can stop them.
Order the men to move back, Joshua.
Move back... Where into the sea?
Behold HIS mighty hand!
FLOWERS How could this account be history? Is it possible
that these waters actually parted? To think about those questions,
we first have to look at the big picture.
FLOWERS So take a look from the space shuttle. The green triangle
at the bottom is the fertile Nile delta, and the large body
of water is the Red Sea proper. We're here, at the shallow
entrance to a long, narrow channel of the Red Sea called the
Gulf of Suez. An Israeli scientist who studied this terrain
has come up with an intriguing idea. Doron Nof teaches oceanography
at Florida State University. I've asked him to help me understand
Imagine that this is a physical model of the Red Sea. So this
part right here will represent the Gulf of Suez, which is
long and narrow, and the deep part is represented here. We
have constructed a ridge here and in a minute or so you will
see why it's there, and what I'm going to do, I'm going to
represent the water with this corn syrup that I have. Pouring
it... slightly above the ridge.., just a tiny bit more. That's
good. The biblical story speaks about a wind that was blowing
over the Red Sea and the wind is going to be simulated with
this hair dryer.
NARRATION Doron figures this wind would actually
have to blow at 40 knots for about 12 hours.
The wind starts blowing now, and you can see how water is
blown away from this side into the deeper part. A wind that
strong in the Gulf is rare -- but possible. Watch what could
And after a while, you can see that part of the ridge is exposed.
The Israelis crossed from this side to this side, and they
had water on that side and on this side. Of course, at some
point the wind relaxes and you see that when that happens
there is a wave coming back and presumably this is the wave
that drowned the Egyptians that were following the Israelis.
NARRATION Does this mean there was no miracle?
Believers can find the existence of God in the creation of
the right wind than we need for that process just as they
can find it in any other type of miracle. All we are saying
is that it is physically possible because of the particular
geometry and geography of the Gulf of Suez for something like
that to happen. But that's very risky. These are fragile artifacts.
Just blowing into one could shatter it! So while restoration
proceeds the research team will make exact replicas that can
be tested safely. To guarantee an authentic sound they have
to capture every nuance of the original. Then, Mahmoud calls
on Cairo's bamboo merchants. It's a scene that hasn't changed
much in three thousand years. Like the ancient musicians,
he wants bamboo with just the right resonance. Mahmoud's artistic
judgement is exactly what's called for. Then, step by step,
a bamboo stalk from the banks of the Nile is transformed into
the instrument that entertained the pharaohs. At least that's
what they're hoping for -- and the researchers now have a
precise replica to test.
FLUTES: "TUNES FROM THE TOMB"
is modern Arabic music at its finest. The bamboo flute is
in the hands of Mahmoud Effat, one of Egypt's most famous
musicians and a scholar of music history. Mahmoud is spearheading
a unique project to rediscover the ancient roots of Egyptian
music. He's teaming up with the Egyptian Museum - home to
a fine collection of old instruments. Here, in the conservation
laboratory, they're restoring ancient bamboo flutes found
in tombs. No one knows what Egyptian music was like three
thousand years ago. But these old flutes may be their best
bet to find out.
EFFAT I found that the old stringed instruments can never
be returned to their original tunings, but the flutes keep
their dimensions, their shape over the years. So if you try
the flutes now they will have the same sounds as they had
3000 years ago.
The hope is that with restoration, Mahmoud can play them.But
that's very risky. These are fragile artifacts. Just blowing
into one could shatter it! So while restoration proceeds,
the research team will make exact replicas that can be tested
safely. To guarantee an authentic sound they have to capture
every nuance of the original. Then Mahmoud calls in Cairo's
a scence that hasn't changed much in three thousand years.
Like the ancient musicians, he wants bamboo with just the
right resonance. Mahmoud's artistic judgement is exactly what's
called for. Then step by step, a bamboo stalk from the banks
of the Nile is transformed into the instrument that entertained
the pharohs. At least that is what we are hoping for -- and
the researches now have a precise replica to test.
MAHMOUD It looks great. Thanks to allah!
Meanwhile, at the step pyramid of Sakkara, the rest of the
team is searching for how the flute was played. The originals
came from these tombs ... so computer scientists Fathy Saleh
and Bob Cribbs hope to find some record of their use. In this
four thousand year old painting a band plays for the owner
of the tomb -- a singer harmonizing with harp and flute. But
the flute pictured here is played differently from a modern
CRIBBS Look how he has to stretch his chin up in the air and
hold his hands very very low.
SALEH That means the flute is producing a very low frequency
note. And it doesn't exist in our time now.
NARRATION They hope to recover these lost notes
with the help of a computer. So Mahmoud brings his replicas
to Cairo University, where Fathy and Bob are set up to analyze
sounds on a computer. They've written software to study the
frequencies, but when he starts to play they don't even need
it. Sound familiar? You don't need a computer to tell this
is a modern western scale. The history books say the Greeks
invented it ... but here it is, on an Egyptian instrument
a thousand years older than that.
CRIBBS Fa, so, la, re, do, re, me, fa, so.
NARRATION Even Mahmoud never dreamed they'd hit
upon such an extraordinary discovery.
EFFAT I think this group of flutes is the musical equivalent
of the Rosetta Stone. Just as it let us discover the language
of the ancient Egyptians, so with these flutes we are able
to start decoding the music of the ancient Egyptians.
NARRATION Their next challenge will be finding the
actual tunes ancient musicians played. Thousands of undeciphered
tomb paintings like these may contain valuable clues. Perhaps
in these mysterious hand signs are the finger positions for
a lost melody. But for now, Mahmoud is reaching out to Egypt's
past in another way. Back at the museum, one of the originals
has been restored. You're about to hear a flute come to life
for the first time in three thousand years.
EFFAT This makes a beautiful and deep sound that matches the
deep feeling in me. I don't know what music the ancients played,
but the flute and I are both Egyptian, so I play what comes
from this feeling in my heart.