Thursday, June 25, 2009

35 000 Year-Old Flute Found

Yahoo News is reporting that a flute has been discovered in Germany that is c. 35 ky old:

A team led by University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany.

Together, the pieces comprise a 8.6-inch (22-centimeter) instrument with five holes and a notched end. Conard said the flute was 35,000 years old.

"It's unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world," Conard told The Associated Press this week. His findings were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Other archaeologists agreed with Conard's assessment.

Suspicion is that it was crafted by modern humans due to associated archaeological remains, although both Neandertals and moderns were on the landscape at the same time. One is reminded of the Neandertal flute hoax perpetrated by Discover Magazine in 1998 that, unfortunately, the ICR took seriously. A clue should have been that the discoverer's name was Todkopf, which is "dead head" in German.


  1. Jim, what was that cavemen band animation we saw in school? I thought it was from Donald in Mathmagic Land but a quick perusal on YouTube shows that's wrong.

  2. I assume you are talking about "ayy ahh gaahhh gomm" (or something like that) The most recent place that I saw it was as a short at the beginning of Fantasia 2000 but I am sure you can find it some other places. I will check.

  3. Found it. It is called "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom." Here it is:

  4. Hurrah! There it is. That's the flute.