Oldest Musical Instruments Found in German Cave

Posted on May 25, 2012

Ancient Flute German Cave


The Geissenklosterle Cave in Germany is home to the world's oldest instruments. The instruments, which include flutes made from mammoth ivory, have been dated between 42,000 and 43,000 years old. The caves also included art and personal ornaments. You can see more photos of the art found in the caves here.

The researchers say the dates of the art and instruments indicate that modern humans entered the Upper Danube region prior to an extremely cold climatic phase referred to as the H4 event dating to ca. 40 000 years ago. The researchers say that despite a major effort to identify archaeological signatures of interaction between Neanderthals and modern humans, they have yet to identify indications of cultural contact between these groups in the Upper Danube region.

The research was published here in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Photo: Universitat Tubingen