Oldest flute known to mankind was recently unearthed in the Ach Valley of southern Germany, according to AFP. The instrument, which is thought to be 35,000 years-old, was fashioned from the hollowed-out wing bone of a giant vulture. If that’s isn’t enough to get your imagination going, I honestly don’t know what will.
In addition to the vulture flute, three broken instruments were discovered nearby, though researchers believe these aren’t nearly as old as the aforementioned music maker. A female figurine was also found in the same area last month, leading some to believe that the Stone Age humans who once called that area home enjoyed both a musically and artistically rich lifestyle.
Located the in the Hohle Fels Cave, the flute was found scattered around the area in 12 pieces. The instrument has four intricately-carved holes, as well as markings where the openings were to be cut. Additionally, there are two V-shaped notches positioned at one end, indicating where the musician should blow. Although a working version of the flute has not yet been crafted, researchers feel that it will produce the same tones as its modern-day brethren.
“We can now conclude that music played an important role in Aurignacian life in the Ach and Lone valleys,” remarked University of Tubingen professor Nicholas Conard. The ancient crafters of the unearthed vulture flute are believed to lived during the Upper Palaeolithic period, which spans from about 40,000 to 10,000 years ago.
Of course, bone flutes are nothing new. Several has been found throughout the globe, including some that were discovered during an archeological dig in China a few years back. For an example of someone rocking out on a bone flute, have a look at the video embedded below.