Tone Insight
Neanderthal Flute

50,000 years ago - Neanderthal Flute

Neanderthals lived within Eurasia from circa 400,000 until 40,000 years ago.

They made stone tools, used fire, and were hunters.

They created art and used adornments.

The Neanderthal flute is a musical instrument found at Divje Babe, Slovenia. This discovery happened in 1995 during the excavations performed by Ivan Turk and Janez Dirjec at the Divje Babe Archeological Park.  It was near the remains of a 50,000 – 60,000 years old Neanderthal fire pit. Since then some scholars have been suggesting that Neanderthals made this as a form of musical instrument. They drilled three holes into the thigh bone of a young cave bear. Then they made a sharp rim for the mouthpiece using tools made of bone and stone. The name Neanderthal flute comes from them.

Divje Babe Excavation Site
Divje Babe Excavation Site

However, Slovenian archeologist Mitja Brodar argues that Cro-Magnons had made it. As one of the most important discoveries of prehistoric music, it remains on prominent public display in the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana.

Gökhan Damgacı

Gökhan Damgacı is a pianist, composer, field recordist, sound designer, and author of sound and music-related books. All his life revolves around nature, art, books, and of course coffee. In his opinion, knowledge grows when shared. It is why, in his spare time, he likes to share what he learns and knows with others.

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