Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prehistoric Flutes Reveal Earlier Music

Recently discovered flute made of bird's bone.

Discovery of bone flutes dating back some 40,000 years is leading researchers to conclude that human creativity evolved earlier than originally thought.
Researchers were studying a modern human settlement called Geißenklösterle in southern Germany when they came across the flutes, one made from ivory of a mammoth, the other from the bones of a bird.
According to
"These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube River was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations into central Europe between 40,000 and 45,000 years ago," study researcher Nick Conard, of Tübingen University, said in a statement. 
The researchers radiocarbon-dated bones found in the same layer of the archaeological dig as the flutes. This carbon dating uses the level of radioactive carbon, which is naturally occurring in the world and decays predictably into nonradioactive carbon, to estimate the age of organic materials. 
They found the objects were between 42,000 and 43,000 years old, belonging to the Aurignacian culture dating from the upper Paleolithic period. So far, these dates are the earliest for the Aurignacian and predate equivalent sites from Italy, France, England and other regions.
Results indicate that humans entered the Upper Danube region before an extremely cold climatic phase around 39,000 to 40,000 years ago, researchers said.

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