Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World's Oldest Flute?

Nah - the specialists rejected the oldest flute recovered from an archaeological dig and dated to 44,000 years ago because the archaeologist who uncovered THAT flute suggested it might have been made by so-called "Neanderthal" man. But this one (story follows) is a very important find, nonetheless. I just don't agree with their continued emphasis on a distinction between so-called "Neanderthal" and so-called "modern" human. But read this story - I think there's something else going on here. Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known By PATRICK McGROARTY, Associated Press Writer Patrick Mcgroarty, Associated Press Writer – Wed Jun 24, 1:30 pm ET BERLIN – A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved some 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture. A team led by University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany. Together, the pieces comprise a 8.6-inch (22-centimeter) instrument with five holes and a notched end. Conard said the flute was 35,000 years old. "It's unambiguously the oldest instrument in the world," Conard told The Associated Press this week. His findings were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature. Other archaeologists agreed with Conard's assessment. [Of course they would, because to do otherwise might cast the entire taught "human time-line of development" in doubt and trash generations of work, including perhaps their own work.] April Nowell, a Paleolithic archaeologist at the University of Victoria in Canada, said the flute predates previously discovered instruments "but the dates are not so much older that it's surprising or controversial." Nowell was not involved in Conard's research. [I'll take the reporter's word for that - but perhaps she has an ax to grind - see below.] The Hohle Fels flute is more complete and appears slightly older than bone and ivory fragments from seven other flutes recovered in southern German caves and documented by Conard and his colleagues in recent years. Another flute excavated in Austria is believed to be 19,000 years old, and a group of 22 flutes found in the French Pyrenees mountains has been dated at up to 30,000 years ago. Conard's team excavated the flute in September 2008, the same month they recovered six ivory fragments from the Hohle Fels cave that form a female figurine they believe is the oldest known sculpture of the human form. Together, the flute and the figure — found in the same layer of sediment — suggest that modern humans had established an advanced culture in Europe 35,000 years ago, said Wil Roebroeks, an archaeologist at Leiden University in the Netherlands who didn't participate in Conard's study. [It could equally suggest that "Neanderthal" man, who also lived in the cave (but dates of occupation were not given in this article), was more creative than the experts give him credit for.] Roebroeks said it's difficult to say how cognitively and socially advanced these people were. But the physical trappings of their lives — including musical instruments, personal decorations and figurative art — match the objects we associate with modern human behavior, Roebroeks said. [Like those 80,000 to 100,000 year old shells with drilled holes found in an African cave many miles away from the seashore? According to conventional thinking and time line, those can't have been made by so-called "modern" man, so who made them then?] "It shows that from the moment that modern humans enter Europe ... it is as modern in terms of material culture as it can get," Roebroeks told The AP. He agreed with Conard's assertion that the flute appears to be the earliest known musical instrument in the world. [Emphasis on earliest known. We don't know what else is out there, waiting to be discovered.] Neanderthals also lived in Europe around the time the flute and sculpture were made, and frequented the Hohle Fels cave. Both Conard and Roebroeks believe, however, that layered deposits left by both species over thousands of years suggest the artifacts were crafted by early modern humans. [Did the evidence show "Neanderthal" and "modern" human lived in the cave at separate times? Overlapping times? If overlapping, how was "Neanderthal" occupation distinguished from "modern" human occupation?] "The material record is so completely different from what happened in these hundreds of thousands of years before with the Neanderthals," Roebroeks said. "I would put my money on modern humans having created and played these flutes." [Oh, really? Wanna go to Vegas, baby?] In 1995, archaeologist Ivan Turk excavated a bear bone artifact from a cave in Slovenia, known as the Divje Babe flute, that he has dated at around 43,000 years ago and suggested was made by Neanderthals. But other archaeologists, including Nowell, have challenged that theory, suggesting instead that the twin holes on the 4.3-inch-long (11-centimeter-long) bone were made by a carnivore's bite. [Hmmmm, interesting, April Nowell pooh-poohed Ivan Turk's discovery back in 1995. Do these two have a prior history???] Turk did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. [One cannot assume that email ever reached him. I've sent lots of emails out and have never received a "bounce-back" that the email address was no longer a good one, but in fact, was not. And if the email did reach Turk, perhaps he had his own reasons not to respond, that have nothing to do with the Hohle Fels discovery.] Nowell said other researchers have hypothesized that early humans may have used spear points as wind chimes and that markings on some cave stalactites suggest they were used as percussive instruments. But there is no proof [how does one prove the use of wind chimes? And to which "other researchers" is she referring?], she said, and the Hohle Fels flute is much more credible because it's the oldest specimen from an established style of bone and ivory flutes in Europe. [What established style? Turk's flute was made out of bone and had two holes and an approximate length of 4 inches. Did Nowell do a comprehensive comparison of the two discoveries? Of Turk's discovery against all other bone flutes discovered thus far? No explanation is given for Nowell's extraordinary comment.] "There's a distinction between sporadic appearances and the true development of, in this case, a musical culture," Nowell said. "The importance of something like this flute is it shows a well-established technique and tradition." [This statement is ridiculous! First, what are the "sporadic appearances" to which she is referring? Second, what does she mean by "the true development of ... a musical culture? Is she distinguishing between someone "accidentally creating" a bone flute, and someone deliberately creating a bone flute? But how did the invention of the bone flute come about if not at first by accident? It was Nowell who dismissed the idea that a 43,000 year old flute discovered in a Slovenian cave by archaeologist Ivan Turk could have been created by so-called "Neanderthal." Why? Did Nowell already have a vested interested in her "modern" human theory in 1995? Is there something else going on here?] Conard said it's likely that early modern humans — and perhaps Neanderthals, too — were making music longer than 35,000 years ago. But he added the Hohle Fels flute and the others found across Europe strengthen evidence that modern humans in Europe were establishing cultural behavior similar to our own. [Again, assumes a distinction between so-called "Neanderthal" behavior and so-called "modern" human behavior, but does the available evidence really support this - or is it just being interpreted according to still existing 19th century prejudices and assumptions? Does someone have a book deal pending? I've no idea, but sometimes in this type of dispute money is involved, one way or another.] Egyptologists are starting to go back and re-examining records of excavations and artifacts recovered from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries and, with new methods of analysis, are gaining new insights (and correcting erroneous assumptions that were made years ago). Perhaps the specialists who focus on prehistoric man could benefit from doing the same. Just saying...

9 comments:

carlos lascoutx said...

...historians and archeos who try
to hold their time line or species
line are like dieters at a banquet:
boring, and impediments who stutter
about the table of delicious facts
finding reasons why they shouldn't be eaten, enjoyed, and processed,
but they have their agenda, often
not their own, to protect their waste(pun)line and preserve the
precarious status quo of their
precious species whose main
book of dogma and rectitude may
be compromised in the mirror of
its most intimate belief.
and therein lies the contradiction, conservatism in
the bosom of rampant and ample proof we did not do it our way:
the god pan, the fallen angel,
titan/titlani(N)=the messenger,
prometheus, and now flutes and music, lest we forget about
ochre and neander burials offering
eight different herbflowers of
eternity more than 100k bc.
reluctance is a poor painter,
yet patience, step by step, is
giving us a new gallery of how
we began.

Anonymous said...

they have just found a phoenician flute in lebanon. maybe 1200bc or near,, it is ivory and in good cond. its halls are decorated with a fish and a monkey. its halls are from up and down. this was found beside a lot of a lots after the dump and soil of a new
building site, and soil was searched by treasure hunters.some items are now on you tube.search badran 106.

carlos lascoutx said...

...the slovenian Divje Babe bear bone flute, 40k bce. there is some doubt if it
is a Neandertal instrument; however, the objectors are saying
it was gnawed by predators, which is a bit thick, as they are playing god with the data.
next is a vulture bone flute
from Hohle Fels cave with 5 finger
holes, 40k-35k bpe, along with
2 mute swan flutes, and one wooly
mammoth ivory flute.
ivory=ivery=iv/uel/ry(letra)=
iueli(Nauatl)=powerful,
=i/v/be(a)r/i(letra)=bear,
=Iberia/Hibernia/hibernate/
Inverness/invierno/hiver(Fr).
the latest is the polar bear
descends=totem=to-temo(Nauatl)=
our/to-temo/descent, from the
Hibernian(Irish) brown bear.
wordpress has kicked me off
their site, but i will try to
put up all i wrote there on the
net again. the truth makes them
uncomfortable as most net sites
are farming personal data and
making their coin on subscribers, then again, it's their right,
their eye is on the dollar, which
has never been a friend of clarity,
but an intimate of sham and vested
interest.

Jan said...

Thanks badrildeen, for the information on this new flute discovery. Since the flute was discovered in an excavated pile of soil from a construction site, since it was found out of context. Do you know how it was dated? I looked at You Tube but did not see a video of an ivory flute under Badran106.

Jan said...

Hola Carlos!

You said in your first post (from 2009): "historians and archeos who try to hold their time line or species line are like dieters at a banquet..."

That is so true!

Wordpress "kicked you off" their site? That is terrible. Why did they do that? You have your own interpretations of historical evidence but as far as I have been able to tell your presentation of archaeological evidence has always been correct - you have never misrepresented discovered artifacts or the dates and origins attributed to such objects. You - as I have often done - just interpret the findings differently than the mainstream "experts."

Were you able to preserve your posts from your site? I hope so, and that you will be able to put them at a new blog.

I found this collection of email correspondence dating back to 1997, articles and exchanges:

http://www.greenwych.ca/fl3debat.htm

all related to the so-called "Neanderthal" flute - Turk's discovery. The technical musical discussion makes my eyes cross - I do not understand it. If someone could show me in person what they mean by these different scales and tones - by playing them or singing them - perhaps I could get a better grip on the discussion.

This discussion is NOT going to go away. As you so astutely pointed out in your 2009 post, Carlos, too many people have too many vested interests to easily give up their views on certain matters, regardless of what evidence is presented to them. Certain people will ALWAYS deny what is right under their noses; they would rather live with increasing cognitive dissonance than bend to the winds of change.

carlos lascoutx said...

...the deep history of the flute
goes back to the curious but regular wear on the inside of
the incisors of Neandera, and the etymology of the word, hand, in english, coming from, tlantli(N)=
tooth(incisors)=tl/t/th/hand/t/li
(letra)=the third hand while the other 2 are busy twirling shaft into socket, i.e., the fire drill,
expressed in the name of the Venus
calendar regent of the Tonalamatl,
Tlatla-/flame tzol/hole Thea/teotl.

the date for this, 45-40k bc,
upper stone age, when we find
needles at Kostenkij, russia
(kost=bone), and perforated shells
for ornament, the drill has arrived
from the promethean fire drill, and
the flute as well, as it began as
the hollow tube bellows, later to
become the flute=fue(Japanese)=
fuigo(Japanese)=bellows.
added to this is the etymology of, iueli(Nauatl)=powerful,=bear(E)
and the delineation of Neander bear
worship in europe and the isles,
e.g., Iberia, Hibernia(hibernate),
hiver(Fr)=winter(E)=uitequi(N)=
thresh/wheat/white=ui(n)ter/qui
(letra), Inverness.
what led the Irish brown bear to
go north and become the polar bear
was the winter solstice ceremony of Neander, which pushed the cave
bear of europe to extinction, and
led the brown bear to its only
escape route through Inverness to
the north, great swimmers, iueli(N)=powerful, they had already swum the canal de la mancha/english channel, ireland=island/i(r)lantli
(letra)=old lady(neandra, ancient
in wisdom=mati/N=imati(N)=convalescing/cautious.
it makes perfect sense the oldest flute is bear bone as it
is the oldest christian ceremony
where a christ/animal is involved,
the church doesn't like that? tough beans. they are arch-liars
from their institutional inception,
murky inquisitional genocides.
as to the scholars who abet the
status quo, quo vadis? there goes
the thief of time we call education, winged by dullards
and roasted by consensus.

Jan said...

You are up on the latest news, Carlos! I saw a few days ago (but did not read) a headline about "Irish Polar Bears"!

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/07/17/study-polar-bears-come-from-ireland/

All this reminds me of a novel I read many many moons ago - Shardik, by Richard Adams. It was written in 1974! What I remember of it now was that it was about a great bear, Shardik, whom man thought was a god. Shardik is captured and caged, and man attempts to use Shardik for his own purposes - not always good, but "acting in the name of god." There were priestesses who tended to Shardik, I remember that, but really not much else of the book. The ending I seem to remember of the book is Shardik being set free (I thought a young priestess did it, released Shardik from his cage), or according to synopses of the book online, Shardik somehow escapes, never to be caged again. A memory of the book (I think): Shardik the bear, wandering in a sanctuary on a small island in the middle of a wild river. The island is controlled by Shardik's priestesses, who watch over and serve Shardik. Shardik roams free, up and down shallow stone ridges and wades through streams, fishing and eating berries in the forests. The priestesses would follow after him. Sometimes a priestess would be elected to pproach Shardik - to ask him a question (I think) - and sometimes Shardik would kill the priestess. I thought there was one priestess, however, whom Shardik tolerated more than the others, and in the end she is the one who finds Shardik and sets him free (or else she had volunteered to travel with the captured bear, to tend to him, and is the one who sets him free in the end). That's what I remember -- it may not be correct though. You know, memories are a peculiar thing. We think they are true and accurate - but they are not always so!

The more you write about the bear of ancient times, the more I am believing you are correct.

Jan said...

You are up on the latest news, Carlos! I saw a few days ago (but did not read) a headline about "Irish Polar Bears"!

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/07/17/study-polar-bears-come-from-ireland/

All this reminds me of a novel I read many many moons ago - Shardik, by Richard Adams. It was written in 1974! What I remember of it now was that it was about a great bear, Shardik, whom man thought was a god. Shardik is captured and caged, and man attempts to use Shardik for his own purposes - not always good, but "acting in the name of god." There were priestesses who tended to Shardik, I remember that, but really not much else of the book. The ending I seem to remember of the book is Shardik being set free (I thought a young priestess did it, released Shardik from his cage), or according to synopses of the book online, Shardik somehow escapes, never to be caged again. A memory of the book (I think): Shardik the bear, wandering in a sanctuary on a small island in the middle of a wild river. The island is controlled by Shardik's priestesses, who watch over and serve Shardik. Shardik roams free, up and down shallow stone ridges and wades through streams, fishing and eating berries in the forests. The priestesses would follow after him. Sometimes a priestess would be elected to pproach Shardik - to ask him a question (I think) - and sometimes Shardik would kill the priestess. I thought there was one priestess, however, whom Shardik tolerated more than the others, and in the end she is the one who finds Shardik and sets him free (or else she had volunteered to travel with the captured bear, to tend to him, and is the one who sets him free in the end). That's what I remember -- it may not be correct though. You know, memories are a peculiar thing. We think they are true and accurate - but they are not always so!

The more you write about the bear of ancient times, the more I am believing you are correct.

carlos lascoutx said...

...well, a bear will not kill a
female of our species if she identifys herself as female by
lifting her skirt and letting her knickers waft at him/her. the yellowstone park slaying was
directed at a male who intruded
on mother bear and her cubs as
males attack cubs, but the woman
was not targeted.
the triad of perforated shells
(fire drill associated)at 45/40k bce, was south afrika/dorgodne
(Neander habitat)/kostenkij(russ).
by the way, as to the Liber
Linteus/Linen Book, the Etruscan/
Tarquin holy book, from whence
my etymology for, ocelome/celOim/
Elohim, which leads back to cave,
we add another cave(bear)connexion,
the Linen Book's ink is made from
the smutch of burnt ivory=iveri
iueli(Nauatl)=powerful,=u/v/ber/li
(letra)=bear.
there is an unbroken line,
kept by the Nauatl language
through all spoken history between
the Neandra Promethean cave bear
rite and today, through the Phoenician Etruscans, e.g., phoenix/sphinx=
poa nextli(N)=count/power ash=
the subtractive part of leapyear
when remarking time by the prime
number 13, the white sweeper/
Ixtactlachpanqui(N) of the Aztec
Venus calendar, the Tonalamatl(N)
birthing calendar of the cave
flame hole Venus, whose totem animal=Elohim=celOim=ocelome(N/pl).
it astounds me how conceited,
arrogant, and self-satisfied we are
on a planet that has never ceased
to correct our wild bezerker fantasys as we continue destroying
our habitat through a blindness
and selfishness which we imagine
is our comfort from a fear we are
too cowardly to face as individuals, as nations, as craven
souls in a universe we refuse to
decode except as it abets our
impoverished expectations for
a secure life on old blue, who
has never offered us more than
free will. this perhaps is the well spring of greed=gratac(OHG)=
catzaua(N)=become dirty/twisted
sawing/tzaua ecatl(N)=windy sawing=
tzaua ollin(N)=holy sawing/sewing/
sowing,=saol(OE)=soul(E),=
tla-catzaua(N)=ruin the country/
the wor(l)d.
wor(l)ds are more important than
one dares ever realize, i've had
my share of misusing them, grabbing
them for the wrong end, when they are screed for the immortal souls
of manunkind, the thoughts of Thoth Teotl, baboon and ibis, who puts o(r)der/otli/route to
the solar ship=chipeua(N)=begin/
-peua chi-/on top, yes, but do we?
no, we are still subterranean.
which leads me to the wry observation: isn't it about time for Israel to build underground
so we can begin the modern cave epoch of the fallen angel, once
again?

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