Ancient Bone Flutes Said Music Predates Writing

ZHENGZHOU, China, November 4 (UPI) — According to archaeologists, three flutes made from bird bones found in a tomb in central China are proof that distant ancestors played music long before they could write.

Made from the bones of red-crowned cranes, the flutes were discovered in an ancient tomb in Henan province, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

Although crude and simple, the flutes prove that the Chinese were playing music 9,000 years ago, experts have said.

The narrow brown pipes, about 8 inches long with designs carved into their surface, are believed to be the oldest heptatonic or multi-note musical instruments ever discovered.

The Jiahu archaeological site, dated to the Neolithic age around 7,500 to 9,000 years ago, has been excavated eight times since 1983 and hundreds of caves, pottery kilns, building remains, tombs and coffins have been excavated. discovered, researchers said.

“The people who created the Jiahu culture were not only hunters, fishermen and artisans, but also early farmers and brilliant artists,” said research director Zhang Juzhong.

“The Jiahu culture existed at the same time as the Tigris-Euphrates civilization was flourishing and served as a miniature of the development of East Asia at that time,” Zhang said.

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