|Above is a photograph scanned from the September 1997 National Geographic magazine. Archaeologists found this bone flute in a cave called Divje Babe, located in Slovenia. It is the oldest known musical instrument, which was fashioned from the leg of a cave bear. It was determined through a technique called electron spin resonance that the flute is more than 40,000 years old. This particular find proves quite intriguing, since the only known instruments came from the Cro-Magnon man, who were more anatomically modern humans that existed no more than 25,000 to 35,000 years ago. This find was able to indicate that the Neandrethal man, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, were able to create musical instruments. Not just the Cro-Magnon, Homo sapiens sapiens, "doubly wise". It was thought that the Neandrethal man did not have the ability to makes such instruments. Which brings us to our next bone flute, just below.|
This flute was found in France, and dates back to 30,000 years ago. I found this photograph in the November 10, 1986 edition of Newsweek. These archaeological finds are certainly fascinating stuff, aren't they? At least they are for me....I get into such heavy contemplation about what was it that made these individuals sit there and think to themselves, or say out loud; "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I cut a few holes in this bone here and blew through one end of it. Hmmmmm?" And so the flute was born.|
If you are interested in more information on history on the flute, I highly recommend that you visit both Clint Goss's Flute Key website, as well as Robert Gatliff's Flute Tree website. Clint has a great write up on the Anasazi flute, based on a find of a few Anasazi flutes that were found in the Broken Flute Cave. He has measurements, as well as a few pictures of the flutes themselves. Clint even has some great information on an instrument called a fujara. Some great reading on that instrument as well. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for both Clint Goss and Robert. They both have made such a tremendous addition to the world of the Native American flute. Robert has conducted serious research into the history of the Native American flute, it cultural implications and much more. He has been extremely generous in sharing information that he has accumulated over the years. If you have any questions about the flute, get in contact with either of them (let them know Dave Fields sent you) and they should be quite happy to help you out. Again, they are awesome people. And tell Clint I want one of his fujaras! *smile* You will find the link to their websites below. Enjoy, they both have some great information!
I have discovered a website with additional information on the bone flute pictured at the top of the page, from the Dvije Babe cave in Slovenia. Below, on the left you will see pictures of Ivan Turk, the archaeologist who discovered the bone flute in 1996 holding the bone flute. On the right, is a picture of Jelle Atema, a marine biologist, playing his replica of the cave bear bone flute. Follow the link to the website that has additional information on this incredible discovery, as well as a sound file of what the bone flute would have sounded like 53,000 years ago. Apparently the archaeologists are now estimating the cave bear femur at 53,000 years old, not 40,000. Jelle Atema has been making flutes since he was a young boy, and he, much like myself, is fascinated with these ancient flutes. Of additional interest, Jelle Atema also has a sound file of him playing a lobsters claw. I highly recommend you check this website out.|
You will read about a powerful statement made by Atema on how one could use the bone flute as a way of breaking the language barrier. To me, this statement rings so true of what the Native American flute touches upon. My language may be the same as another individual's language, but my personality, my interests, and my belief system all may be radically different from another. Yet the music I create with the Native American flute allows me to connect with another human being(s) in ways that no words or gestures can even touch. That is most certainly an awe inspiring feeling. Check out the website below, I think you will enjoy it! !
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.
Click on the logo below to send an email.
| Webmaster: Dave Fields -
Wolf Dreams Music
No Duplication Permitted - Copyright © Wolf Dreams Music 1998-2009
All Rights Reserved.