Evidence of ancient roots

By Elizabeth Quill, 11:39 AM July 29, 2010

Though early hominids may have made sweet sounds by banging sticks and stones together, the oldest distinguishable instrument dates to 40,000 years ago. 

A flute made from vulture boneA flute made from vulture bone (shown) and others made from mammoth ivory have been found in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany, and date from 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. Holes in other bones dating to about 43,000 years ago were dismissed as bite marks from cave bears.

Gudi, literally “bone flutes,” found in Jiahu in Henan Province, Chi...

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