Earliest Musical Instruments Found in German Cave
Scientists have discovered two prehistoric flutes at Geissenkloesterle Cave in Germany’s Swabian Jura region.
The flutes, made of bird bone and mammoth ivory, have been dated to between 42,000 and 43,000 years old by carbon dating animal bones found in the same stratigraphic layer as the flutes. This makes them the oldest known musical instruments.
These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube River was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations into central Europe between 40,000-45,000 years ago. Professor Nick Conard, Researcher at Tuebingen University
It is believed by some experts that these instruments may have been used in recreation or for religious ritual, and that music may have been one of the factors which gave Homo sapiens an edge over Neanderthals – who went extinct around 30,000 years ago.
The findings are published in the Journal of Human Evolution.
Earliest music instruments found [BBC via Dean Wiseman]