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Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known

by Pat Coate | June 25, 2009
"It's unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world."
- Nicholas Conard, archaeologist/restorer

A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved some 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture.

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.

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