Found the Most Ancient Musical Instrument That Still “Works”

In 1931, scientists discovered the shell of a predatory sea snail inside the French cave of Marsulas. It has been suggested that it was used as a cup by the ancients, so the object was sent into storage and was quickly forgotten. Scientists recently decided to study the shell again and discovered several oddities in it.

First, a hole was made at one end, that is, it was through. Secondly, holes were found along the edges of the shell. Since the object resembled a primitive wind instrument, the scientists decided to seek help from a musicologist. It turned out that all this time the researchers were really dealing with a musical instrument. And very old, because its age was estimated at 18,000 years. The great thing about this news is that three notes can still be extracted from this instrument. Let’s hear how it sounds?

The very first wind instrument in history

The Daily Mail reported on the unusual find. The Marsoulas Cave is located in France, about 650 kilometers from Paris. It has been a historical monument since 1910, and for good reason. The fact is that on its walls there are drawings left by ancient people. Moreover, inside, scientists managed to find the remains of charcoal and bear bones, that is, people spent quite a lot of time in it. The shell of the sea snail of the Charonia lampas species mentioned above was also found there. It was assumed that the sink was intended for drinking, but the actual function of this object turned out to be more interesting.

Shell of the sea snail Charonia lampas

According to scientists, in ancient times shells usually served as utensils and that is why they first jumped to conclusions. They should have taken into account that the object could also be used as a musical instrument. The age of the remains of coal and bones found near the shell was 18,000 years old, therefore, the musical instrument is just as old. According to researchers, they managed to find the most ancient wind instrument in the world and this is a very important event for the scientific community.

The very first music

It turned out to be quite difficult to recognize the musical instrument, because the holes made on it were invisible. Only on close inspection did it become clear that the pointed end of the shell had been carefully removed to make it through. Additional holes have been detected using computed tomography, which allows you to look inside objects without breaking them. There were only two of them, thanks to which the instrument could play three notes: C, D and C sharp. One of the notes was played when the person did not cover any of the auxiliary holes.

Listen from 0:12 sec.

A pattern was also painted on the surface of the shell. What exactly he means is unknown to scientists and it is unlikely that this secret will ever be revealed. But the researchers are sure that this pattern repeats the pattern painted on the cave wall. According to the author of the scientific work, Gilles Tosello, this is the first time that at least some connection has been found between music and rock art. Still, it is interesting what kind of pattern appears on the cave wall and the musical instrument. Maybe the inhabitants of the cave had some kind of mark? Or is it an image of some ancient deity?

Drawing on the wall of the cave Marsoulas

Many sources say that the earliest musical instruments were flutes made of bird bones and mammoth tusks. Now we can assume that the first wind instruments were made from the shells of sea animals. It would be more logical to assume that the first musical instruments were percussion. Music is believed to have originated over 50,000 years ago, long before humans settled on all habitable continents. And, most likely, they extracted music by striking hard objects with sticks.

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