A Neanderthal flute, at least 45,000 years old, found at the Divje babe archaeological site in 1995, is probably the oldest musical instrument in the world. The artifact is a cave bear femur , 43100 ± 700 years old, that has been pierced with spaced holes. The Divje Babe flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes that was found at the Divje Babe archeological park located near Cerkno in northwestern Slovenia.It has been suggested that it was made by Neanderthals, however according to Slovenian archeologist Brodar it was made by Cro-Magnon as an element of Central European Aurignacian [1]. The holes could have simply been perforated in the process by pointed canine or carnassial teeth, and their roundness could be due to natural damage after the bone was abandoned. The spacing of the holes on a modern diatonic (minor scale) flute are unique, and not evenly spaced. The replicas were made from femurs of juvenile brown bears provided by the Hunters Association of Slovenia, but also calf, goat, pig, roe and red deer bones. The background flute and wind music were first added by Andrew Lienhard when I did a one-hour CD about the stone age. Brodar assumes these bones are still not recognized by the international research community due to the fact that most of them were found in France, and the Paleolithic is still considered to be the French's domain. Summary of Turk's evidence", 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6548(199709)12:6<507::AID-GEA2>3.0.CO;2-2, "Dating a Flautist? Since then, this artifact, called the Divje Babe flute, has gained in plausibility a musical instrument. [20], French-based Italian taphonomist Francesco D'Errico, as well as Claus-Stephan Holdermann, Jordi Serangeli, Philip G. Chase, and April Nowell have all hypothesized its carnivore origin.[21]. Divje Babe Flute (5 F) Media in category "Lower Wild Women's Cave" The following 5 files are in this category, out of 5 total. In his personal research and correspondence about it posted on the web, it's clear The Divje Babe bone's holes matched those spacings very closely to a series of note-holes in a minor scale. No match could be found to any known animals. "Rezultati računalniÅ¡ke tomografije najstarejÅ¡e domnevne piščali iz Divjih bab I (Slovenija): prispevek k teoriji luknjanja kosti", "Results of Computer Tomography of the Oldest Suspected Flute from Divje Babe I (Slovenia): Contribution to the Theory of Making Holes in Bones" (English & Slovenian). The tooth spans were analyzed by all taphonomists concerned to see if any animals could bite two or more such holes at once. ", The National Museum of Slovenia argues that this evidence has "finally refuted hypotheses that the bone was perforated because of a bear bite". The colour of the marrow cavity does not differ from the colour of the external surface of the bone. The artifact known as the Divje Babe flute, discovered in Slovenia in 1995, has been claimed as the oldest flute, though this has been disputed. D'Errico insisted on ignoring the probability of the alignment of the holes and, even after having analyzed the artifact firsthand, claimed that "the presence of two or possibly three perforations on the suggested flute cannot therefore be considered as evidence of human manufacture, as this is a common feature in the studied sample."[25].  www.visitcerkno.si. That is why we cannot simply speak of a flute any longer, but rather of a musical instrument of a special kind, one which profoundly changed our views of the Neanderthal, who went extinct 30,000 years ago. Using cave-bear bone accumulations to assess the Divje Babe I bone ‘flute’ Volume 72, Issue 275 Francesco D'Errico (a1) , Paola Villa (a2) (a3) , Ana C. Pinto Llona (a4) and Rosa Ruiz Idarraga (a5) See the Wikipedia article about it . The flute is kept by the National Museum of Ljubljana. The authors argue that the instrument encompassed a range of two and a half octaves, which can be extended to three octaves by overblowing. This was noted by Turk in his book and was also noted from the opposing hypothesis holders Nowell and Chase in their article in the August/October 1998 issue of Current Anthropology. Photo: T. Lauko. The manufacture by Neanderthals "is reliably proven" and its significance in the understanding of their capabilities and the development of music and speech is secure.[10]. © 2018 - ArheoloÅ¡ki park Divje babe. The Divje Babe Flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes that was found in 1995 at the Divje Babe archeological park located near Cerkno in northwestern Slovenia.It has been suggested that it was made by Neanderthals as a form of musical instrument, its hole spacing and alignment leading to its being labeled a "Neanderthal flute." [8] Whether it is actually a flute created by Neanderthals is a subject of debate. This unusual musical instrument, neither a flute nor a whistle, was cemented near the remains of a 50,000 – 60,000 years old Neanderthal fire pit, made from the thigh bone of a young cave bear into which the Neanderthal drilled three holes and made a sharpened rim for the mouthpiece using tools made of bone and stone. Turk et al. "Neandertalska piščal iz Divjih bab I: stara in nova spoznanja", "Neanderthal Flute from Divje babe I: Old and New Findings" (English & Slovenian). Of those still preserved, the best known is a mandible of a cave bear with three holes in the mandibular canal. More info at: www.divje-babe.si A visit to the Archaeological Park Turk wrote, in his book and in his article in MIT's Origins of Music anthology, the bone shows no "counter-bites" that one would normally expect on the other side of the bone matching the immense pressure necessary for a bite to make the center holes. []; figure 5(4)), where also Neanderthal Mousterian layers were believed to be present [], was declared twice incorrectly as the ‘oldest instrument’, a 43 140 BP old ‘Neanderthal flute’ from layer 8 [26,27] (figure 5(4)). It is about 43,100 years old. [9] According to the museum's statements, the presumed flute has been associated with the "end of the middle Pleistocene" and with Neanderthals, about 55,000 years ago. In essence, Fink said, they are like a simple fingerprint. Because it has the characteristics of a flute, he dubbed it a Neanderthal flute. The spacing between the holes matches present diatomic scale (5) At present there is still an official dispute over whether the holes were man-made or not, but the evidence points strongly in favour of the idea that this is the earliest yet discovered evidence of a musical instrument in the world. The cave is located below the north-eastern edge of the Šebrelje plateau, with the entrance on a steep slope high above the Idrijca river. [11], Since World War II, like specimens have been found in Mokrica Cave (Slovene: MokriÅ¡ka jama) and Betal Rock Shelter (Betalov spodmol). "[23], Iain Morley, despite his holding the carnivore-origin hypothesis, observed in his November 2006 article that, "[w]hilst the collections of cave bear bones examined by D'Errico...as well as those discussed by Turk...do show similar shaped and damaged holes...none of these occur in the diaphysis of a femur," as is found on the reputed flute.[24]. 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