It’s Official!

bone_whistleWe might all have known it, but the world’s oldest musical instrument is a whistle.  Discovered earlier this year by archaeologists in the Hohle Fels cavern in South West Germany, the end blown flute, or whistle, has been dated at an astonishing 35,000 years old.  What is perhaps even more astonishing is that it’s rumoured the whistle still works (we did try and get ahold of it for testing but they were slightly touchy on the matter).

Made from the wing-bone of a vulture the whistle was the best preserved of a clutch of instruments found in the cave – other’s being made from mammoth tusks.  Researchers suggest that the find shows that music was widespread much earlier than previously thought – with it already being quite far advance at this stage, some forty thousand years ago.     They go to to say that the art and culture that emerged at the time would’ve contributed to the maintenance of larger social networks, which might have given humans evolutionary advantage over the neanderthals, with whom humans co-existed at the time.

2 Responses to “It’s Official!”
  1. Anita
    11.27.2009

    but given some of the folks on C&F- seems like the Neanderthals must have managed to start playing whistle as well- and made it into the 21st century 😉

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