A Neanderthal flute, at least 45,000 years old, found at the Divje babe archaeological site in 1995, is probably the oldest musical instrument in the world. © 2018 - ArheoloÅ¡ki park Divje babe. 2.2 The long discussed Slovenian punctured cave bear cub bone find Another juvenile bear cub femur with holes from Divje Babe I Cave, Slovenia, a small cave bear den (cf. 47 cas particulier “Sonderfall”. According to Mitja Brodar, who discovered many of them, bones with holes have been dated only to the end of the Mousterian and the beginning of the Aurignacian, and have not yet been found in Western Europe. See the Wikipedia article about it . /Photo: Tomaž Lauko There is also no evidence that the two holes could have been bitten at the same time. The spacing of the holes on a modern diatonic (minor scale) flute are unique, and not evenly spaced. More info at: www.divje-babe.si A visit to the Archaeological Park This was noted by Turk in his book and was also noted from the opposing hypothesis holders Nowell and Chase in their article in the August/October 1998 issue of Current Anthropology. Die größere der beiden Höhlen ist die archäologisch bedeutsame Divje babe I.Sie zählt neben Betalov spodmol und Potočka zijalka zu den wichtigsten steinzeitlichen Fundstellen Sloweniens. This discovery represents pivotal evidence that the Neanderthal was, like us, a fully developed spiritual being, capable of sublime artistic creation such as music. Arheološki park Divje babe, ki leži v razgibani pokrajini Idrijsko-Cerkljanskega hribovja, je eno najpomembnejših najdišč stare kamene dobe na svetu. The bone has become a noted attraction in the National Museum of Slovenia, publicized on official Slovenian websites,[18] aired on TV with tunes played on a clay replica,[19] and is a source of Slovenian national pride. Otherwise, it would be a darker colour than the surface of the bone, as we know from coloured marrow cavities of whole limb bones. [8] [9] [10] It is from a juvenile cave bear femur at the Divje Babe site , near a Mousterian hearth. Turk's 1997 book reported that the holes have similar diameters which would accommodate fingertips, and all are circular instead of oval (as carnivore bites often are). D'Errico insisted on ignoring the probability of the alignment of the holes and, even after having analyzed the artifact firsthand, claimed that "the presence of two or possibly three perforations on the suggested flute cannot therefore be considered as evidence of human manufacture, as this is a common feature in the studied sample."[25]. Présentation du site Divje Babe est le site ayant livré les plus anciens vestiges archéologiques de Slovénie.Il s’agit d’une grotte de 45 mètres de long et de 15 mètres de large. [7], Divje Babe is the oldest known archaeological site in Slovenia. The replicas were made from femurs of juvenile brown bears provided by the Hunters Association of Slovenia, but also calf, goat, pig, roe and red deer bones.  info@visitcerkno.si If the bone is indeed a usable flute, it would be an argument for the existence of music 43 thousand years ago. The holes could have simply been perforated in the process by pointed canine or carnassial teeth, and their roundness could be due to natural damage after the bone was abandoned. Yet in the Divje Babe instance, the bone did not break, a fact not matching expectations of carnivore action, as Turk's results showed. [20], French-based Italian taphonomist Francesco D'Errico, as well as Claus-Stephan Holdermann, Jordi Serangeli, Philip G. Chase, and April Nowell have all hypothesized its carnivore origin.[21]. The cave is located below the north-eastern edge of the Šebrelje plateau, with the entrance on a steep slope high above the Idrijca river. The spacing between the holes matches present diatomic scale (5) At present there is still an official dispute over whether the holes were man-made or not, but the evidence points strongly in favour of the idea that this is the earliest yet discovered evidence of a musical instrument in the world. LTO Laufar Cerkno Furthermore, all are in the proper ratio of bore size to hole size found in most flutes, and the bone is the kind (femur) usually used for bone flutes. [26] (Fink had suggested there may have originally been a mouthpiece extension added to the bone before it was broken.). However, a general consensus that the Divje Babe flute is actually a musical instrument has been growing as the view of the Neanderthals from subhuman brutes to more sophisticated humans is changing. In essence, Fink said, they are like a simple fingerprint. Says Nowell, '[Turk's] willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, whereas we're not.' Archaeologists have found a pre-historic instrument carved from cave bear bones, and it can still be played today. [1] Despite alternative hypotheses suggesting it was formed by animals,[2][3][4][5] the artifact remains on prominent public display in the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana as a Neanderthal flute. Using cave-bear bone accumulations to assess the Divje Babe I bone 'flute, "Archaeological Evidence for the Emergence of Language, Symbolism, and Music—An Alternative Multidisciplinary Perspective", "Neanderthal Flute: Oldest Musical Instrument's 4 Notes Matches 4 of Do, Re, Mi Scale", "Odds calculated against Neanderthal flute being a chance product of animal bites", "ESR Dating Human Cultural Evolution and Climatic Change During the Late Pleistocene at Divje Babe I, Slovenia", "Who made Neanderthal Flute? This famous discovery happened in 1995, when during the excavations performed by Ivan Turk and Janez Dirjec from the Institute of Archaeology ZRC SAZU, the world’s oldest musical instrument was discovered in the Mousterian layer. The Neanderthal flute from Divje babe, kept by the National Museum of Slovenia. No match could be found to any known animals. For one thing, both ends had clearly been gnawed away by something, perhaps a wolf, seeking greasy marrow. []; figure 5(4)), where also Neanderthal Mousterian layers were believed to be present [], was declared twice incorrectly as the ‘oldest instrument’, a 43 140 BP old ‘Neanderthal flute’ from layer 8 [26,27] (figure 5(4)). The Divje Babe flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes that was found at the Divje Babe archeological park located near Cerkno in northwestern Slovenia.It has been suggested that it was made by Neanderthals, however according to Slovenian archeologist Brodar it was made by Cro-Magnon as an element of Central European Aurignacian [1]. Nowell and Chase wrote in Studies In Music Archaeology III that the juvenile bear bone was too short to play those four holes in tune to any diatonic series of tones and half-tones. The probability that four randomly placed holes would appear in line in a recognizable musical scale is very low according to an analysis made by Canadian musicologist Bob Fink in 2000. Wallin, Nils, Björn Merker, and Steven Brown, eds. It’s carved from the bone of a cave bear – and it sounds hauntingly beautiful. The background flute and wind music were first added by Andrew Lienhard when I did a one-hour CD about the stone age. The issue of how much bone marrow remains in the artifact is important, because the making of flutes from bone usually includes removing the marrow.  www.visitcerkno.si. [11], Since World War II, like specimens have been found in Mokrica Cave (Slovene: MokriÅ¡ka jama) and Betal Rock Shelter (Betalov spodmol). The authors argue that the instrument encompassed a range of two and a half octaves, which can be extended to three octaves by overblowing. [10], In the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s, archaeologist Srečko Brodar (father of Mitja Brodar) discovered tens of bones with holes at another site, the Potok Cave (Slovene: Potočka zijalka) in the Eastern Karawanks, but almost all of them were destroyed during the World War II Italian annexation. These bones are preserved today at the National History Museum of Slovenia as well. The natural shape of the chosen left thigh bone, its size and artificial redesign is ergonomically sound and adapted for a right-handed musician. [2] They published photos of several bones with holes in them which had more or less circular holes similar to those found in the artifact, but they did not have a single bone coming even close to the linear alignment of Turk's holes. [1], In 1995, archeologist Ivan Turk of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts found the approximately 43,100-year-old[13][14] cave bear femur at the Divje Babe site near a Mousterian hearth. I'll be delighted if we can ever feel more confident about the Divje Babe artifact being a flute, but at present, I think we must agree the jury's still out. [9] According to the museum's statements, the presumed flute has been associated with the "end of the middle Pleistocene" and with Neanderthals, about 55,000 years ago. The presence of marrow suggests that no one had bothered to hollow out the bone as if to create an end-blown flute. The Divje Babe flute, discovered in a cave in Slovenia in 1995, has long been heralded as the oldest musical instrument ever discovered. Photo: T. Lauko. In the end, he concentrated on playing a replica made on a femur of a juvenile cave bear from Divje Babe I Cave, to come as close as possible to the dimensions of the original. The Divje Babe bone's holes matched those spacings very closely to a series of note-holes in a minor scale. "[8] An equally critical issue is that, if the holes in this "flute" are of artificial origin, to date there does not seem to be any available means to determine whether they were deliberately drilled 43 thousand years ago, or are of a more contemporary origin (as part of an elaborate hoax, perhaps). It is about 43,100 years old. [22] Responding to the D'Errico carnivore-origin hypothesis, Turk pointed out that the features "common" between the carnivore-origin artifact and other chewed bones studied by D'Errico (see Hole shape below) do not include the alignment of the holes. (in the volume Moussterian Bone Flute, p. 160) wrote that "the marrow cavity is basically cleaned of spongiose. A visit to the Archaeological Park Divje babe is possible only with a guide, by prior arrangement at least a week before the scheduled arrival. Bob Fink claimed in his essay[27] in 1997, that the bone's holes were "consistent with four notes of the diatonic scale" (do, re, mi, fa) based on the spacing of those four holes. The bone flute was discovered in 1995 during lengthy systematic archaeological investigations of Divje babe cave near Idrija. The Neanderthal flute from Divje babe, kept by the National Museum of Slovenia. The Divje Babe Flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes. Nowell wrote that holes in the specimen "were almost certainly made sequentially rather than simultaneously and that the distance between them has nothing to do with the distance between any two teeth in a wolf's jaw. An examination of the specimen using computed tomography was published in 2005 by Ivan Turk, in which he concluded that "the two partially preserved holes were formerly created before the damage...or before the indisputable intervention of a carnivore. Organized visits to the Archaeological Park Divje babe take place from April 1st to October 31th. Turk et al. Therefore it cannot be random. 2000. The Divje Babe Flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes that was found in 1995 at the Divje Babe archeological park located near Cerkno in northwestern Slovenia.It has been suggested that it was made by Neanderthals as a form of musical instrument, its hole spacing and alignment leading to its being labeled a "Neanderthal flute." Researchers of Pleistocene climate change working at the site have uncovered more than 600 archaeological items in at least ten levels, including twenty hearths[8] and the skeletal remains of cave bears. Močnikova ulica 2, 5282 Cerkno, +386 (0)5 373 46 45 Divje babe so najstarejše znano arheološko najdišče v Sloveniji. The bone flute is the oldest ever found musical instrument in the world, so we could also call the village of Šebrelje or the Cerkno region »the cradle of world music«. Turk, Matija and Dimkaroski, Ljuben. Turk conducted laboratory experiments which pierced holes in fresh bear bones in the manner of carnivore punctures, and in every case, the bones split. The Divje Babe Flute: (Slovenia) A Bear femur bone 43,000 - 84,000 BP. There is also no evidence that the two holes could have been bitten at the same time. Divje babe (dt. Since then, this artifact, called the Divje Babe flute, has gained in plausibility a musical instrument. Humans or carnivores? The manufacture by Neanderthals "is reliably proven" and its significance in the understanding of their capabilities and the development of music and speech is secure.[10]. It has been suggested that it was made by Neanderthals as a form of musical instrument, its hole spacing and alignment leading to its being labeled a "Neanderthal flute." In a 2011 article, Matija Turk published the results of a collaboration with Ljuben Dimkaroski, an academic musician who had made replicas of the artifact. In 2008, another discovery was made – a bone flute in the Hohle Fels cave near Ulm in Germany dating back 43,000 years. The artifact is a cave bear femur , 43100 ± 700 years old, that has been pierced with spaced holes. The flute is kept by the National Museum of Ljubljana. [1] He further posits that the Divje Babe Flute is a product of modern humans, but this has been disputed by other Slovene scholars. In 2015 Cajus G. Diedrich suggested the holes could be explained by scavenging from spotted hyena. Brodar assumes these bones are still not recognized by the international research community due to the fact that most of them were found in France, and the Paleolithic is still considered to be the French's domain. Ignoring the probability of the alignment of the holes, D'Errico's interpretation was that it was possible for the holes to have been made by an animal, and they concluded that of the available options this was the most likely. Using cave-bear bone accumulations to assess the Divje Babe I bone ‘flute’ Volume 72, Issue 275 Francesco D'Errico (a1) , Paola Villa (a2) (a3) , Ana C. Pinto Llona (a4) and Rosa Ruiz Idarraga (a5) Les flûtes paléolithiques Divje babe I, Istállóskő, Lokve etc. How do you say Divje Babe Flute? Turk, Ivan, Miran Pflaum, and Dean Pekarovič. Using ESR (Electron Spin Resonance) in the Mousterian Cave Deposits at Divje Babe I, Slovenia", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Divje_Babe_Flute&oldid=995799998, Articles with self-published sources from July 2011, Articles containing Slovene-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [6] As such, it is possibly the world's oldest known musical instrument. ", The National Museum of Slovenia argues that this evidence has "finally refuted hypotheses that the bone was perforated because of a bear bite". The Divje Babe Flute is a cave bear femur pierced by spaced holes that was found in 1995 at the Divje Babe archeological park located near Cerkno in northwestern Slovenia. That is why we cannot simply speak of a flute any longer, but rather of a musical instrument of a special kind, one which profoundly changed our views of the Neanderthal, who went extinct 30,000 years ago. The bone fragment is the diaphysis of the left femur of a one- to two-year-old cave bear and is 133.6 mm (5.26 in) long. "Neandertalska piščal iz Divjih bab I: stara in nova spoznanja", "Neanderthal Flute from Divje babe I: Old and New Findings" (English & Slovenian). Paintings were made, models constructed, and musicians such as biology professor and flautist Jelle Atema have played them publicly. The oldest flute ever discovered may be the so-called Divje Babe flute, found in the Slovenian cave Divje Babe I in 1995. Grafična zasnova in izvedba: Guided tour of the cave up to 10 persons:Â. La grotte, accessible au public, est localisée 230 mètres au-dessus de la rivière Idrijca près de Cerkno.. Of those still preserved, the best known is a mandible of a cave bear with three holes in the mandibular canal. :Wilde Weiber) ist der Name zweier Höhlen im Tal der Idrijca bei Cerkno, Region Goriška, Slowenien. It is broken at both ends, with two complete holes and what may be the incomplete remains of one hole at each end, meaning that the bone may have had four or more holes before being damaged. 2011. [28] Dimkaroski created over 30 wooden and bone replicas of the flute and experimented with them. They came away even more skeptical that the bear bone had ever emitted music. Divje Babe Flute (5 F) Media in category "Lower Wild Women's Cave" The following 5 files are in this category, out of 5 total. [8] Whether it is actually a flute created by Neanderthals is a subject of debate. La musique préhistorique commence avec la Préhistoire quelque part à la fin de l'échelle des temps géologiques et se termine avec l'apparition des musiques de l'Antiquité dans différentes parties du monde. The Neanderthal Flute, found in the cave of Divje Babe in Slovenia, is thought to date back at least 50,000 years, making it the oldest known musical instrument in the world. 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