The artifact turned out to be a Peruvian whistling vessel. Such whistles had their origins in pre-Columbian times. Daniel Statnekov's exploratory journey is chronicled in Animated Earth: a Story of Peruvian Whistles and Transformation (North Atlantic Books, 2nd ed., 2003). (Visit the author's website for the latest developments.) Our book trailer gives a glimpse of the story. The book is available in the Evergreen Indiana online catalog.
P.S. Indian vedics (and, later, Indian and Tibetan Buddhists) shifted into cosmic consciousness by chanting mantras. The sounds focused concentration and attention, as well as controlled breathing, during meditation. An especially effective mantra was the Sanskrit "Om Mani Padme Hum," which is a prayer for compassion to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit for "Lord who looks down"), an embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas. The Moody Blues were obviously intrigued by Eastern mysticism, religion, and philosophy. Mike Pinder's "Om" completed the group's ground-breaking conceptual album, In Search of the Lost Chord (1968). Here is a video of The Moody Blues performing the song live on the BBC2 television program Colour Me Pop (1968). Pinder left the band in the late 1970s. He is best known today for his audio recordings of children's stories.