Scientists in Germany have published details of flutes dating back to the time that modern humans began colonising Europe, 35,000 years ago. The flutes are the oldest musical instruments found to date. The team from Tubingen University published details of three flutes, found in the Hohle Fels cavern in southwest Germany. The researchers say in the Journal Nature that music was widespread in pre-historic times.
The cavern is already well known as a site for signs of early human efforts; in May. members of the same team unveiled a Hohle Fels find that could be the worlds oldest Venus figure.
The most well-preserved of the flutes is made from a vulture's wing bone, measuring 20cm long with five finger holes and two'V'-shaped notches on one end of the instrument into which the researchers assume the player blew. The find brings the total number of flutes discovered from this era to eight, four made from mammoth ivory and four made from bird bones.
According to Professor Nicholas Conard of Tubingen University the modern humans that came into the area already had a whole range of symbolic artifacts, figurative art, depictions of mythological creatures, many kinds of personal ornaments and also a well-developed musical tradition. The flutes provide yet more evidence of the sophistication of the people that lived at that time.
To hear the flute as it would have sounded 35,000 years ago, click on the video link given below: