The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
June 27, 2009

A team of archeologists have uncovered a flute in a German cave dating back 35,000 years

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Filed under : General

A team of archeologists have uncovered a flute in a German cave dating back 35,000 years, showing that early Europeans had an advanced creative culture which included artistic pursuits.

The flute, made from a griffon vulture bone, was assembled from several pieces found in the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany. It is 8.6-inches (22-centimeters) long and features complex and delicate craftsmanship, shown by its five holes and a notched end.

“It’s unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world,” says University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conar, who lead the team.

The flute is also the oldest and most complex musical instrument so far found in Europe. Another flute excavated in Austria is believed to be 19,000 years old, and a group of 22 flutes found in the French Pyrenees mountains has been dated at up to 30,000 years ago.

The Hohle Fels cave is also where archeologists have uncovered the oldest statue on record, a small ivory carving of a woman believed to have been used in fertility rituals. Other ancient fertility objects have been found in this cave. Via

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