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Stone Age flutes found in Germany

Prehistoric people made musical instruments out of bone and ivory soon after reaching Europe

The hills may be alive with the sound of music, but so were vulture bones and mammoth tusks for ancient Europeans. Researchers working at two Stone Age German sites have unearthed a nearly complete flute made from a vulture’s forearm as well as sections of three mammoth-ivory flutes.

These 35,000- to 40,000-year-old finds are the oldest known musical instruments in the world, says archaeologist and project director Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen in Germany.

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