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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ancient Birds, Stone Age Music

Mark Brazil has an interesting article about his visit to see the oldest known flute, a 35,000 year old instrument made from a swan bone found in Germany's Geissenklosterlen Cave. We've all heard birds sing, and speculated about how human music may have been initially inspired by the sounds of birds. This ancient flute not only shows Paleolithic humans to have made bird-like notes with a flute, but to have crafted that flute from the body of a bird. Next time you're listening to your iPod, you can thank your prehistoric ancestors for creating music by literally taking a note from their bird neighbors.

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