Sunday, May 27, 2012

Earliest musical instrument found?

Flute fashioned from mammoth ivory
[Based on a BBC news item released yesterday:] Researchers have identified what they say are the oldest-known musical instruments in the world. The flutes, made from bird bone and mammoth ivory, come from a cave in southern Germany which contains early evidence for the occupation of Europe by modern humans - Homo sapiens. Scientists used carbon dating to show that the flutes were between 42,000 and 43,000 years old.

A team led by Tom Higham at Oxford University dated animal bones in the same ground layers as the flutes at Geissenkloesterle Cave in Germany's Swabian Jura. Nick Conard, the Tuebingen University researcher, who published in 2009 about the then earliest flute, was excavator at the site.

ResearchBlogging.orgHigham, T., Basell, L., Jacobi, R., Wood, R., Ramsey, C., & Conard, N. (2012). Τesting models for the beginnings of the Aurignacian and the advent of figurative art and music: The radiocarbon chronology of Geißenklösterle Journal of Human Evolution DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2012.03.003

1 comment:

Matthew Smith said...

Thank you for this information. Off and on, I have done "research" on ancient instruments/music, and this is an area that has endless points to focus on. That is so interesting to find that the instruments were found to be between 42,000 and 43,000 years old. What I am wondering is, were the instruments made there, or were they brought there. In other subject areas, we have learned that the first human remains were found in places in the middle east. Either way, this is a great piece of information. What else is hidden beneath us that we don't know about? Just look at how much "technology" has changed--flutes of 43,000 years ago vs. the mechanics of the key system today!

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