Thursday, June 25, 2009

world's oldest musical instrument

35,000 year old instrument found. A flute.  What's most surprising isn't the flute. It's the beer drinking.

The wing bone of a griffon vulture with five precisely drilled holes in it is the oldest known musical instrument, a 35,000-year-old relic of an early human society that drank beer, played flute and drums and danced around the campfire on cold winter evenings, researchers said Wednesday

Sounds like early man would fit right in at a frat party.


But this is what most struck me:

The presence of music did not directly produce a more effective subsistence economy and greater reproductive success, he concluded, but it seems to have contributed to improved social cohesion and new forms of communication, which indirectly contributed to demographic expansion of modern humans to the detriment of the culturally more conservative Neanderthals.

What leads one to suspect that music "seems to have contributed to improved social cohesion..." This the part where I shake my head and harbor dark suspicions that a good chunk of archeology consists of digging around in the dirt and making up good stories...

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