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    Oldest musical instruments found at Geißenklösterl

    sciencedirect.com (Journal of Human Evolution);
    Τesting models for the beginnings of the Aurignacian and the advent of figurative art and music: The radiocarbon chronology of Geißenklösterle.

    Abstract

    The German site of Geißenklösterle is crucial to debates concerning the European Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition and the origins of the Aurignacian in Europe. Previous dates from the site are central to an important hypothesis, the Kulturpumpe model, which posits that the Swabian Jura was an area where crucial behavioural developments took place and then spread to other parts of Europe. The previous chronology (critical to the model), is based mainly on radiocarbon dating, but remains poorly constrained due to the dating resolution and the variability of dates. The cause of these problems is disputed, but two principal explanations have been proposed: a) larger than expected variations in the production of atmospheric radiocarbon, and b) taphonomic influences in the site mixing the bones that were dated into different parts of the site. We reinvestigate the chronology using a new series of radiocarbon determinations obtained from the Mousterian, Aurignacian and Gravettian levels. The results strongly imply that the previous dates were affected by insufficient decontamination of the bone collagen prior to dating. Using an ultrafiltration protocol the chronometric picture becomes much clearer. Comparison of the results against other recently dated sites in other parts of Europe suggests the Early Aurignacian levels are earlier than other sites in the south of France and Italy, but not as early as recently dated sites which suggest a pre-Aurignacian dispersal of modern humans to Italy by ∼45000 cal BP. They are consistent with the importance of the Danube Corridor as a key route for the movement of people and ideas. The new dates fail to refute the Kulturpumpe model and suggest that Swabian Jura is a region that contributed significantly to the evolution of symbolic behaviour as indicated by early evidence for figurative art, music and mythical imagery.
    And for those that have trouble with challenging adult reading. :)

    BBC;
    Earliest music instruments found
    25 May 2012

    Researchers have identified what they say are the oldest-known musical instruments in the world.


    The flutes, made from bird bone and mammoth ivory, come from a cave in southern Germany which contains early evidence for the occupation of Europe by modern humans - Homo sapiens.

    Scientists used carbon dating to show that the flutes were between 42,000 and 43,000 years old.

    The findings are described in the Journal of Human Evolution.

    A team led by Prof Tom Higham at Oxford University dated animal bones in the same ground layers as the flutes at Geissenkloesterle Cave in Germany's Swabian Jura.

    Prof Nick Conard, the Tuebingen University researcher who identified the previous record-holder for oldest instrument in 2009, was excavator at the site.

    He said: "These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube River was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations into central Europe between 40,000-45,000 years ago.

    "Geissenkloesterle is one of several caves in the region that has produced important examples of personal ornaments, figurative art, mythical imagery and musical instruments."

    Musical instruments may have been used in recreation or for religious ritual, experts say.

    And some researchers have argued that music may have been one of a suite of behaviours displayed by our species which helped give them an edge over the Neanderthals - who went extinct in most parts of Europe 30,000 years ago.

    Music could have played a role in the maintenance of larger social networks, which may have helped our species expand their territory at the expense of the more conservative Neanderthals.

    The researchers say the dating evidence from Geissenkloesterle suggests that modern humans entered the Upper Danube region before an extremely cold climatic phase at around 39,000-40,000 years ago.

    Previously, researchers had argued that modern humans initially migrated up the Danube immediately after this event.

    "Modern humans during [this] period were in central Europe at least 2,000-3,000 years before this climatic deterioration, when huge icebergs calved from ice sheets in the northern Atlantic and temperatures plummeted," said Prof Higham.

    "The question is what effect this downturn might have had on the people in Europe at the time."
    Last edited by nomaxim; 05-27-2012 at 07:09 AM.
    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. -C. Darwin

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    Re: Oldest musical instruments found at Geißenklös

    How about Cliff notes ?

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