The cavemen had a musical instrument like in The Flintstones

it seems the cavemen also had a thriving music scene many thousands of years before the birth of Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven

Fine tuning: A flute dating back more than 40,000 years

Cartoon caveman Fred Flintstone occasionally strummed a double bass while his friend Barney Rubble pounded turtle shells as if they were drums.

Now, it seems real-life cavemen also had a thriving music scene many thousands of years before Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven were born.

The earliest ancestors of great composers played musical instruments and demonstrated artistic creativity more than 40,000 years ago, a study has found.

Evidence of the musicians has been discovered in Germany in the form of primitive flutes made from bird bones and mammoth ivory.

A new fossil dating system has confirmed the age of animal bones excavated from the same rock layers as instruments and examples of early art.

The bones, probably leftovers from meals, bore cuts and marks from hunting and consumption.

Do you have a Boney M? The bird bone flute



The finds, described in the Journal of Human Evolution, come from Geissenkloesterle Cave in the Swabian Jura region of southern Germany.

They show that the Aurignacian culture, a way of life linked to the first modern humans, existed on the site between 42,000 and 43,000 years ago.

This suggests that some of the first “modern” humans to arrive in central Europe had a musical inclination.

Professor Nick Conard, from the University of Tübingen in Germany, who participated in the excavations, said: “These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations towards the center Europe between 40,000 and 45,000 years ago.

“Geissenkloesterle is one of many caves in the region that have yielded important examples of personal ornaments, figurative art, mythical imagery and musical instruments.

The new dates prove the great antiquity of the Aurignacian in Swabia.”

Cartoon Crooner: Fred sings on Barney’s piano

The results indicate that modern humans entered the Upper Danube region before an extremely cold climatic phase around 39,000 to 40,000 years ago.

Previously, experts had argued that modern humans only traveled up the Danube immediately after this event.

Professor Tom Higham, from the University of Oxford, who led the team that dated the bones, said: “Modern humans of the Aurignacian period were in central Europe at least 2,000 to 3,000 years before this climatic deterioration, when huge icebergs calved from the ice caps in the North Atlantic and temperatures plummeted.

“The question is what effect this downturn might have had on Europeans at the time.”

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