What is the oldest known instrument to exist today? Take a minute to get the scoop!
The Paleolithic, also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory, distinguished by the original development of stone tools, that covers 99% of the period of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP.
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Let’s travel back to Paleolithic times aka The Stone Age. In 1995 an excavation unearthed, The Divje Babe flute.
Findings from Paleolithic archaeology sites suggest that prehistoric people used carving and piercing tools to create musical instruments. This flute is thought to be at least 40,000 years old.
It was cemented near a Neanderthal fire pit, and was made from the thigh bone of a young cave bear into which three holes were drilled and made a sharpened rim for the mouthpiece using tools made of bone and stone. It was also adapted for a right-handed musician.
The artifact is now on public display in the National Museum of Slovenia and said to be the world's oldest known musical instrument.
This find profoundly changed our views of the Neanderthal, who went extinct 30,000 years ago. The discovery represents pivotal evidence that the Neanderthal was, like us, a fully developed spiritual being, capable of sublime artistic creation such as music.