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World's oldest instruments discovered

Adam Savage
World's oldest instruments discovered

Researchers have unearthed what they believe to be the oldest musical instruments ever found, the BBC has reported.

Flutes made from bird bone and mammoth ivory discovered in the Geissenkloesterle cave in southern Germany have been confirmed as between 42,000 and 43,000 years old, thanks to carbon dating technology.

"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 40,000-45,000 years ago," said Prof Tom Hingham from Oxford University, who led the team of researchers.

"Geissenkloesterle is one of several caves in the region that has produced important examples of personal ornaments, figurative art, mythical imagery and musical instruments."

Experts reckon the flutes may have been used for recreation or religious rituals.

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Tags: musical instruments , flutes , oldest musical instruments , oxford university , geissenkloesterle cave

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