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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ancient Flutes Made of Vulture Bones

The most significant of the new artifacts, the archaeologists said, was a flute made from a hollow bone of a griffon vulture, skeletons of which are often found in these caves. The preserved portion is about 8.5 inches long and includes the end of the instrument into which the musician blew. The maker had carved two deep, V-shaped notches there, and four fine lines near the finger holes. The other end appears to be broken off; judging by the typical length of these bird bones, two or three inches are missing.

Dr. Conard’s discovery in 2004 of the seven-inch, three-holed ivory flute at the Geissenklösterle cave, also near Ulm, inspired him to widen his search of caves, saying at the time that southern Germany “may have been one of the places where human culture originated.”

link: Stone Age Flutes Are Window Into Early Music -


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