Music of the Ages

By Glenn R. Morton

Abstract: An examination of the oldest musical instruments shows that the oldest music was made by Neanderthals around 80-100,000 years ago. This is twice as old as the Eastern European Neanderthal Flute reported this year. Evidence for pre-60,000 year old musical instruments comes from three continents, many examples of two types of instruments, and thus is not an isolated occurrence. The first section examines the ancient musical instruments made by anatomically modern men (back to 30,000 years); the second part looks at the Neanderthal flutes and whistles.


The Bible is relatively clear about the place of music and its relationship to created mankind. Genesis 4:21 states:

"His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute."

Of course Jubal was a descendant of Adam. What evidence can anthropology shed on the origin of music, when is it's earliest occurrence. Biblically whoever invented music should be considered a descendant of Adam.

Music has always been extremely important to man. So important, that all known human societies have some form of music.(1) Bruno Netti states,

"The most ubiquitous use of music, however, is as part of religious ritual. In some tribal societies, music appears to serve as a special form of communication with supernatural beings, and its prominent use in modern Christian and Jewish services may be a remnant of just such an original purpose."(2)

This is an important fact to remember as we go back through the history of musical instruments. If music is most often used for religious purposes, the fact that a culture made music is probably indicative of religion.


The history of music and musical instruments goes a long way back into the past. The oldest musical notation that I was able to find goes back to 800 B.C. It is carved on a stone and is undecipherable (3) The earliest historical references to music come from China and Mesopotamia. In 2697 B.C. the Emperor Huang Ti (Huang Ti means Emperor in Mandarin so whoever wrote the Encyclopedia Britannica article failed to get the emperor name-GRM) sent Ling Lun to make bamboo flutes. (4) The Sumerians had stringed instruments, reed instruments and drums (3).

But music is found much earlier than that, although the number of instruments become much fewer. The reason for this is the durability of wood and skin artefacts. The only objects which appear from much earlier than this are those made of very durable material, such as bone, although bone is not as durable as many would surmise. Because of the progressive destruction of perishable musical instruments, the bone flute and bone whistles become the major survivors from earlier periods.

From layers dated 13-15,000 years ago, a beautiful eagle bone flute was found. Marshack describes it,

"In cabinet number one at the Musee des Antiquites Nationales in 1965, there lay a tiny gray, broken bit of hollow eagle bone. It was some 4 1/2 inches long (11 cm), had been cut by a flint knife at one end, and was broken at thee other. It came from a level approximately 13,000 to 15,000 years old, was dated as late middle Magdalenian and came from the same site of Le Placard that gave us the two earlier Magdalenian batons. Worked or decorated bird bones are not uncommon in the Upper Paleolithic. Some have blow holes cut into them, indicating their use as whistles or flutes, and they can be blown to give a high, piping, flute sound." (5)

This beautiful flute is engraved on the outside by two linear sequences of parallel lines, and six sets of nested chevrons. The flute, as a flute, is very simple and could only make one sound. It had no finger holes to alter the pitch. Thus, technically this was a whistle.

The oldest picture of a flute may be from an 18,000 year old French site. Coles and Higgs observe,

At Les Trois Freres (Ariege), a semi-human figure seems to be playing either a musical bow (although musically this is not in the correct position) or a flute. The association of the semi-humans at this site, with grouped animals, seems to indicate some ceremonial activity, whether it be sympathetic magic or not and music by this time had been in existence for some thousands of years."(6)

Another type of whistle used in ancient times was a reindeer phalange which was drilled through. When blown, it whistles. Megaw observed of these,

"The earliest evidence we have for blown instruments are those made from reindeer phalanges pierced on one surface which when blown across between the tips of the articular condyles emit a shrill whistle. Often regarded -- largely on the evidence of modern parallels -- as decoy whistles, these objects, whose method of playing is exactly that of the modern cross-flute, have been found in Upper Palaeolithic occupation sites in France, at for example La Madeleine and Solutre, and in Central Europe at Dolni Vestonice and the cave of Pekarna. They have also occurred on comparable sites in North America. "(7)

Megaw's description of the phalanges is accurate, but phalanges are not the earliest evidence of blown instruments, but that comes later. The claim for the "earliest" is one that is found quite often, and is usually wrong. I cited Megaw in order to convey what a phalange whistle was. Megaw continues (I will insert the approximate age of the various sites, that I could find,in Megaw's text),

"To return to our catalogue: at the Hungarian cave site of Istallosko,[Istallosko-There is a 31,000 B.P. but this particular flute may have been from younger levels. see (9)--GRM] in an occupation level dated to Aurignacian II, the excavators found not only two pierced reindeer phalanges but also the femur of a cave bear having three holes, one in the centre of the posterior surface and two on the anterior. The larger of these near the proximal epiphysis measures some 11mm. across, close to the size of the lip hole of a modern cross-blown flute, and as the position of the epiphysis does not allow the lips to cover the open end it must be presumed that here was an early ancestor of the notch flutes of present-day primitive groups. Be that as it may, Istallosko does not stand alone, for several other Central European cave sites of an Aurignacian II date have produced pierced long bones. Lokve in what used to be Fiume had a curved bone -- once more that of a cave bear -- with three 'finger holes' pierced on one side. The bird's ulna from Drachen, Mixnitz, has three large holes and several smaller -- a more doubtful candidate. ... On the other hand in a bone from Salzhofen in Austria we have a closer analogy to Istallosko with two holes on one side and three on the other. Returning to France, in the Aurignacian levels of the cave of Isturitz [~27,000 B.P. based on it being a Perigordian site See ref. 5, p.96-97--GRM], Basses-Pyrenees, was found part of the cubitus of a large bird, which the excavators think may have been a vulture. The broken end preserves part of a sub-rectangular hole, while below it are two other complete holes. In the later series of excavations of the Aurignacian III levels at the same site some seven other pierced bird bones were found, one having indications of four holes of which three must have been finger holes. The simple notch decoration which ornament it was found on other examples as well. Coming full circle the nearest parallel to Istallosko is to be found in a reindeer radius from Badegoule dated by its association with Solutrean leaf-shaped blades[Solutrean was approx. 20,000 years B.P.--GRM]. At the damaged distal end is one large hole repeated by a smaller on the opposite side which also has a second hole at the proximal end."(8)

Of the Isturitz find, the original report, written in French, describes it thusly,

"Enfin, j'ai decouvert en 1921, une piece qui est sans doute unique, un gros os d'Oiseau, malheureusement brise a une de ses extremites, mais qui porte encore sur une seule rangee trois larges trous, comme dans une sorte de flute (pl. VII). C'est, sans doute, le plus ancien instrument de musique connu."(10)


"At last, I uncovered in 1921 a piece which is without doubt, unique, a big bird bone, unfortunately broken at the ends, but because still carried three holes, like that of some sort of flute. It is without doubt the most ancient musical instrument found." [trans. by David Morton]

Gravettian sites in eastern Europe, also have yielded several flutes. Coles and Higgs report,

"Also in Moravia are the important Gravettian sites of Predmost, Pavlov and Brno. At Pavlov a large number of hut plans have been identified, oval, round and five-sided in shape, with some postholes and hearths. The associated industry included decorated bone and ivory objects including animals and human figures, and a number of phalange whistles; the occupation has been radiocarbon dated to c. 25,000 B.P."(11)

At Dolni Vestonice, Czechoslovakia, flutes are found. This site is approximately 27,000 years old. Coles and Higgs relate,

"Decorative objects include perforated shells and other pendants, and tubular beads; bone tubes, one with a plug of resin, probably were panpipes."(12)

The oldest flute today, comes from Abri Blanchard from 30,000 years ago.(13)


Up to this point all musical instruments have been younger than 30,000 years B.P. I wanted to establish above what instruments have been preserved which were made by modern man between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago. There are two kinds of instruments, phalange whistles and flutes. Amazingly, these same instruments are found at Neanderthal sites but in spite of this, statements continue to be made that the oldest flute is 30,000 years old made by modern man. These statements are simply not true. Examples of these kinds of statements are,

Bowers: "Music assumed an important role; the first known instrument, a bone flute found in France, dates to around 30,000 years ago."(14)

Hugh Ross:

"Bipedal, tool-using, large-brained primates (called hominids by anthropologists) may have roamed the earth as long ago as one million years, but religious relics and altars date back only 8,000 to 24,000 years. Thus, the secular archaeological date for the first spirit creatures is in complete agreement with the biblical date.
"Some differences, however, between the Bible and secular anthropology remain. By the biblical definition, these hominids may have been intelligent mammals, but they were not humans. Nor did Adam and Eve physically descend from them. (According to Genesis 1:26-28 the human species was created complete and brand-new by God through His own personal miraculous intervention.) Even here, though, support from anthropology is emerging. New evidence indicates that the various hominid species may have gone extinct before, or as a result of, the appearance of modern humans. At the very least, 'abrupt transitions between [hominid]species' is widely acknowledged."(15)

Ross's reference was to Bowers article (14).

Bernard Ramm also objected to an old creation of Adam.

Ramm: "In the fourth and fifth chapters of Genesis we have lists of names, ages of people, towns, agriculture, metallurgy, and music. This implies the ability to write, to count, to build, to farm, to smelt, and to compose. Further, this is done by the immediate descendants of Adam. Civilization does not reveal any evidence of its existence till about 8000 B.C. or, to some 16,000 B.C. We can hardly push it back to 500,000 B.C. It is problematic to interpret Adam as having been created at 200,000 B.C. or earlier, with civilization not coming into existence till say 8000 B.C."(16)

(So what are Christians to think when they find out that Neanderthals 80,000 years ago were composing music and making musical instruments 90-100,000 years ago?)

Tattersall: "The subject of behavior is complicated by the fact that whereas in Europe Upper Paleolithic stone and bone tools were associated from the beginning with evidence of 'creativity' in the form of engravings, sculpture, notation, musical instruments, and so forth, this was not the case in the Levant. What's more, the earliest Upper Paleolithic tools from Boker Tachtit, while fully Upper Paleolithic in concept, were made using techniques that had been current in the Middle Paleolithic. However, since anatomically modern humans had made Middle Paleolithic tools for the first 50 kyr of their existence, we probably shouldn't find this too surprising."(17)

Christians have uncritically accepted these statements and used them as support for apologetical positions. I have found it curious that Christian apologists would so quickly grab hold of the Upper Paleolithic European "artistic explosion" as evidence of a recent creation of Adam. As Tattersall claims, the "explosion" was in Europe not the Middle East; and indeed, the advent of art in the Middle East was later than in Europe. Do we really think that Adam was created in SW France? The French probably do, but that is an uncertain apologetic for Christianity.

While Bowers (a journalist), Ross (an astronomer) and Ramm (a theologian writing before these discoveries) might be forgiven for not being aware of even more ancient Neanderthal-made, musical instruments, Tattersall, an anthropologist should be familiar with the literature of his profession. (And a Christian apologist should be extremely thorough.) These objects were found as early as in 1955 and reported in the scientific literature by 1967 by McBurney. What this illustrates is what Bednarik, an Australian anthropologist, has called the Eurocentric bias of anthropology, the belief that all things anthropological started in Europe and the Upper Paleolithic. In point of fact, neither art nor music began in Europe.

I have been able to find many more examples of musical instruments which were made by Neanderthal. The most recent find was one I have mentioned several times is also the youngest. It is a flute, which is made in the same fashion as the Upper Paleolithic flutes made by modern men noted above. Thus the tradition of flute making continues unaltered across the Neanderthal/Modern man transition. David Keys writes,

"Deep inside a cave in Slovenia, in the north of former Yugoslavia, archaeologists have unearthed the world's oldest true musical instrument - a flute which appears to have been made by Neanderthals around 45,000 years ago."(18)

But like lots of claims for being the oldest, it isn't. Neanderthals made phalange whistles (just like anatomically modern man. One was found at La Quina(19), which dates to 64,000 years ago.(20) This is a musical instrument from prior to the time Hugh Ross says should be. Dr. Ross has repeatedly stated that it is Biblically unacceptable for there to be any evidence of spirituality prior to 60,000 years. As long as Christians make these types of claims, we will set the Bible up to be disproven all too easily. He writes:

"In the case of the cave drawings and pottery fragments, the degree of abstractness suggests the expression of something more than just intelligence. Certainly no animals species other than human beings has ever exhibited the capacity for such sophisticated expression. However, the dates for these finds are well within the biblically acceptable range for the appearance of Adam and Eve -- somewhere between 10,000 and 60,000 years ago according to Bible scholars who have carefully analyzed the genealogies. Since the oldest art and fabrics date between 25,000 and 30,000 years ago, no contradiction exists between anthropology and Scripture on this issue."(21)

But this is not the end of the Neanderthal musical instruments. They extend much further into the past.

The oldest flute I have been able to find is a from Haua Fteah in Libya. It is had at least two perforations and thus was much more complex than the first flute I mentioned above, the Le Placard Eagle bone flute. McBurney notes,

"To these may be added a remarkable bone object most plausibly explained as a fragment of a vertical 'flute' or multiple pitch whistle, from spit 1955/64. In this position although directly associated only with a few non-diagnostic chips, splinters and splinters of bone it is none the less attributable to the Pre-Aurignacian owing to the clear indications provided by the overlying spits 1955/61-58, to be discussed in the next chapter. These last show every affinity with the material culture as described and certainly indicate the continued existence of the tradition in the area.

"In all important respects preserved the bone tube reproduces the features of known paleolithic flutes from the European Gravettian both in the East and West, although older by a factor of at least 2 than any other specimen known."(22)

This object was recovered from the earliest, deepest occupation level at Haua Fteah, Libya. Glynn Isaac describes the dating of the layer in which the flute was found. (Mousterian levels are the Neanderthal layers and these were the layers that yielded two Neanderthal mandibles) He relates,

"The stratigraphy at this cave site in Cyrenaica appears to span an unusually large segment of Late Pleistocene time and consequently deserves mention apart from its representation in the frequency distribution patterns of C14 dates. About 5 metres of deposits were excavated below 'Mousterian' levels which have been C14 dated as follows:

W 85 Layer XXVIII(Mousterian) 0.034.000+/-0.0028 x 106

GrN 2564 XXVIII(Mousterian) 0.0434 +/-0.0013 x 106

GrN 2022 XXVIII(rest fraction) 0.04 +/-0.0015 x 106

GrN 2023 XXVIII(bone fraction) 0.47 +/-0.032 x 106

"Extrapolation of the sedimentation rate down through the underlying strata gives a reasonable geochronometric estimate of at least 70 to 80,000 years for the base of the excavation. The small artefact sample from the lowest levels represents an idiosyncratic industry which includes fairly numerous blades (McBurney. 1967:91), burins, Acheulian elements (ibid.:Fig.IV,7:1,2,6), Mousterian elements (ibid.:Fig.IV, 1:7:Fig.IV,5:4:Fig. Iv, 7:3), the oldest known fossil musical instrument (ibid.:90: A.IV), and perhaps the oldest shell midden (ibid.: 99)."(23)

While 70-80,000 years seems old, Neanderthals were making music 10-20,000 years earlier than this. Prolom II is a Neanderthal site from the Crimea and it was probably the whistle capital of the ancient world. Forty one phalange whistles made from Saiga tatarica were found there.(24) This is an early Wurm site which means it is 90-100,000 years old.

Having now traced music back to its oldest known occurrence, we will now show that there is a common cultural tradition between Neandertal musical instrumentation and modern (last century) European musical instrumentation. It is the apparently continuous manufacture of phalange whistles, which must have been taught father to son for over 90,000 years. The common cultural tradition should give Christians pause when the wish to exclude Neandertals from humanity. Consider what Omerzel-Terlep says:

"Both archeologists and archeo-ethno-musicologists also agree that whistles made from phalanges of ungulates (reindeer, red deer and ibex) and other animals, such as cave bear, are the oldest sound-producing devices in Europe, and these instruments can be traced from the Palaeolithic Age right up to the present day. R. Meylan even goes on to claim that vessel pipes of the whistle type are also the oldest pipes which can be found in Southern America, China, and Asia as well as Europe."(25)

This type of whistle is first found at Prolom II in the Crimea which dates between 90-100,000 years. Stpanchuk describes what is found:

"It is impossible not to notice abundant Saiga tatarica phalanges with holes. For example, there are 41 such phalanges with holes. For example, there are 41 such phalanges (55.4% of the total) in the second layer (excavations of 1981 and 1982). In most cases crudely pierced holes are connected with the dorsal surface near the distal epiphysis of the first and second phalange, but are also often located on the articular surface. In many cases the phalanges have two or even three holes, mainly tending to the distal or proximal ends. It is rare that a hole in situated in the medial section. Average dimensions of holes are 3-4 mm; whereas larger ones, sometimes up to 10 mm in size, are much rarer. The origin and purpose of these holes is not quite clear. The study of phalanges with holes has already been going on for more than 150 years, and various explanations have been proposed: the obtaining of marrow; use as whistles; and the result of biting through by a carnivore while the animal was alive. Other hypotheses seem to be fantastic, for example, that they were vessels for poison. It is possible that some of the phalanges with holes were really used as whistles. R. Wetzel wrote that phalanges with roughly pierced holes from Bocksteinschmeide H which he had recognized as 'hunters' pipes' were shown by experiment to utter quite strong shrill sounds. One cannot completely exclude the hypothesis about marrow procuring, although in many ways it does not withstand criticism. New evidence about natural causes has recently been adduced. In any case, the abundance of phalanges with holes at Prolom II cannot be comprehensively explained by any one of the causes mentioned above. Maybe in future investigations of these artefacts at Crimean sites (apart from Prolom II they are known in any layers of Zaskalnaya V, VI IX, as well as at Prolom I, and elsewhere) will make clear their enigmatic origins." (26)

Many other Neanderthal sites, ranging down to 45,000 years have perforated phalange whistles (27). With the advent of the Upper Paleolithic, the manufacture of phalange whistles continued:

"To return to our catalogue: at the Hungarian cave site of Istallosko, in an occupation level dated to Aurignacian II, the excavators found not only two pierced reindeer phalanges but also the femur of a cave bear having three holes, one in the centre of the posterior surface and two on the anterior."(28) (As an aside the Istallosko cave bear flute is very similar to the one reported two years ago at a Neanderthal site dating around 43,000 years old.)

The phalange whistles are also found in Upper Paleolithic sites (sites inhabited by modern man between 30,000 and 11,000 years ago). Such sites include La Magdaleine, Solutre and Dolni Vestonice. (29)

Phalange whistles were made within the past few centuries by modern man, nearly 100,000 years after they were first invented by a Neanderthal. All the evidence suggests a continuous cultural tradition over that length of time! This is clearly a cultural object that has had a long history, which has just ended within the past century. Omerzel-Terlep informs us:

"Instruments of the whistle type made from animal phalanges have also survived among other European ethnic groups as children's musical toys: such examples from Scandinavia, Hungary and Switzerland. The pitch of the whistle depends on the force and direction with which you blow across the edge of the hole, below which the body of the instrument creates a resonating reservoir of air." (30)

This clearly shows a common cultural tradition between Neandertal and Europeans. But there is a second apparently Neandertal musical invention which is still in use today, it is the skiffle or rasp.

In 1976 in a quarry at Schulensbroek, Belgium paleolithic tools and anthropomorphically altered bones were discovered from a layer 10 m below the surface. The stone tools are of Charentian affinity and indicate an age of between 60 and 70 kyr ago (31). Along with the stone tools was found a peculiar engraved mammoth bone. The bone was engraved with parallel lines. I will draw what they look like in cross section:


The author describes this as follows:

"Within the triangular area formed by the specimen's right edge and the oblique transverse fracture, a series of incised parallel to subparallel grooves are visible. Because of the intense wear near the point their original number is difficult to establish. At least twelve grooves are fairly readily distinguishable. The anthropic origin of these marks is beyond doubt. They are in no way similar to the irregular carnivore gnawing traces that have been observed on bone material from recent hyena lairs and archaeological sites. Their antiquity is indicated by the presence of firmly embedded iron oxide in several of the groove depressions. On the ridges between he lower four or five grooves an intense gloss is visible which has obviously been caused by rubbing over the protruding ribs. Where the artefact tapers to a point these ribs have almost effaced. Significantly, there is no gloss present in the grooves, but some of them display in their centre multiple cutting scratches parallel to the direction of the grooves. This seems to indicate that the grooves ere formed by cutting into the bone transversely." (32)

The use of the object is believed to have been as a musical rasp or 'skiffle' in which a stick was rubbed across the grooves to make a noise.

"Indeed the well-formed groove pattern endows the object with some resemblance to a certain type of musical instrument, a rasp or scraper. The rasp is a primitive idiophonic instrument with a corrugated surface that is scraped rhythmically by a non-sonorous object to produce sounds. Striking the parallel grooves of the Schulen bone with a rigid instrument, such as a wooden rod or a bone plectrum, indeed produces a stridulous sound. However, if the object was indeed used for producing sound in this way, that sound would almost certainly differed from the one it can produce today. The alteration of the shape of the obne and its fossilization may have profoundly changed its acoustic characteristics.

"Rasps or scrapers are well-known instruments, both from archaeological and ethnographic sources. Their distribution is almost world-wide. In its simplest form the rasp consists of a notched stone, bone, shell or gourd, which is scrapped with a stick or other rigid object, the sound being increased in some instances by placing the instrument over a hole in the ground. It may be considered, together with the flute, the lithophone and the bullroarer, as one of the earliest musical instruments known to man." (33)

A similar possible rasp is found at Riparo Mochi, Italy in deposits which are 35,000 years old. The authors also suggest that it is a rasp made by modern man. If such an instrument is accepted in the case of modern man, it should also be accepted for Neanderthal. (34)

In modern societies,

"The use of the scraper is intimately linked with hunting magic, erotic rituals and funeral ceremonies. One may ask whether the magical uses of the instrument could have their origins as far back as the Palaeolithic period." (35)

The time period from which this object comes is prior to the time that anatomically modern man entered western Europe. This would imply that this was, like the flute at Divje Babe, Slovenia, a neanderthal instrument.

So, it would appear that this possible instrument can be added to the increasing list of Neanderthal musical instruments. The phalange whistles found at Prolom II dating from almost 100,000 years ago are the oldest musical instruments in the world.


The evidence that music and musical instruments extends back to at least 100,000 years ago, should cause Christians to ponder the ability of our current apologetical schemes to handle the observational evidence. Only mankind manufactures complex instruments of music. And the earliest Neanderthal flute I have found is more complex than many later examples made by anatomically modern men. Remember the initial comment made by Netti concerning the use of music, as a part of religious activities. Only fallen man engages in religion. Non-spiritual animals do not worship. The concept that music is part of religious ritual is supported by the fact that the earliest known underground mines dating from around 125,000 years ago, were mining pigment which is used by primitive man for body painting. Music and art are found together at least as long ago as 100,000 years ago, was carried out by Neanderthals and archaic homo sapiens. It would seem difficult to reject a flute making human-like being from the human race. This data is strong evidence that Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens were human in a Biblical sense of the word.

If that is true, this implies a change in human morphology from that time until now. A change of morphology IS evolutionary change. At the very least these facts require that Neanderthal and Archaic Homo sapiens were spiritual beings. But Neanderthals first appear on earth 230,000 years ago and archaic homo sapiens appear around 500,000 years ago. Even Ramm was unwilling to go that far back for human creation, feeling that that was too much to stretch the genealogies.(36)

These facts also present a tremendous problem for Christian apologetics. For the old earth people there is the problem of the place of Adam in the human race. Many of these views hold to a recent creation of Adam, in the Upper Paleolithic. The problem is that at the same time the Neanderthals were making whistles in Prolom II, anatomically modern men were just leaving Africa. Were there two Adams? A Neanderthal Adam and a anatomically modern Adam? The Bible would support only one, meaning that the one Adam must be considerably prior to this time. For the young earth creationist the response to these issues is equally bad. Morris says that all fossil men are descendants of Adam and that they lived after the Great Flood,(37), and yet, without these fossil men, he is left with no evidence of a single fossil man that he can point to and say that is a victim of the Great Flood.

But all of this does not take into account the evidence that Homo erectus was a carpenter, a manufacturer of water receptacles, a builder of pavement and huts, a maker of clothing (which is characteristic of fallen man) and a user of ochre for body painting. Some of this evidence goes back as far as 1.7 million years ago. These activities are quite like the activities of any modern primitive group. Any apologetical view which holds to an old earth and a recent creation of Adam, ignores the clear evidence for spirituality among men who are morphologically archaic.

In light of the antiquity of music, one of the questions Christians should be asking concerns what musical instruments were they making out of wood? Wooden objects from times of that antiquity are extremely rare. Wood, skin and vegetable matter decay very rapidly leaving no trace in the fossil record. If Neanderthal was capable of making carved bone flutes, then he was certainly capable of carving wooden musical instruments which have not survived. Unless we are willing to believe that the whistles and flutes found in 90,000 years old strata are the first instruments, the conclusion is inescapable, that earlier flutes remain to be found. But since it is easier to make a flute from bamboo or other perishable material, it is quite likely that the first flutes were probably accidentally discovered by blowing through a hollow reed or bamboo in which a slit existed. This technology was probably transferred to bone much later.

The evidence for modern human behavior seems clear. We have three choices: We can either ignore the evidence; we can conclude that the Bible is wrong; or we can develop a new apologetic which incorporates these facts. What I have been suggesting (that the creation of man was several million years ago) is within the framework that Ramm says is an acceptable harmonization. Ramm writes:

"The Bible itself offers no dates for the creation of man. We mean by this that there is no such statement in the text of the Bible at any place. We may feel that 4000 B.C. or 15,000 B.C. is more consonant with the Bible than a date of 500,000 B.C. But we must admit that any date of the antiquity of man is an inference from Scripture, not a plain declaration of Scripture.

"If the anthropologists are generally correct in their dating of man (and we believe they are), and if the Bible contains no specific data as to the origin of man, we are then free to try to work out a theory of the relationship between the two, respecting both the inspiration of Scripture and the facts of science."(38)

DMD Publishing Co.


1. Bruno Netti, "Music" 1994 Microsoft Encarta.

2. Ibid.

3. "Music, Western" Encyclopedia Britannica, 1982, Vol. 12, p 704

4. "Music, East Asian", Encyclopedia Britannica, 1982, Vol. 12, p 671

5. Alexander Marshack, The Roots of Civilization, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972), p. 147.

6. J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 226-227

7. J.V.S. Megaw, "Penny Whistles and Prehistory," Antiquity XXXIV, 1960, pp 6-13, p. 6-7

8. Ibid., p. 7-8

9. J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 290

10. E. Passemard, 1944, "La Caverne d'Isturitz en Pays Basque," Prehisoire 9:1-84, p. 24.

11. J.M. Coles and E. S. Higgs, The Archaeology of Early Man, (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1969), p. 298

12. Ibid.

13. Goran Burenhult, editor,American Museum of Natural History The First Humans, (San Francisco: Harper,1993), p. 103 and Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, Origins Reconsidered, (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p. 322

14. Bruce Bower, "When the Human Spirit Soared," Science News, 130, Dec. 13, 1986, p. 378

15. Hugh Ross, Creation and Time, (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993), p. 141

16. Bernard Ramm, The Christian View of Science and Scripture, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954), p. 228

17. Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), p.225

18. David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent, "Independent" Sunday 2/25/96, p. 15 Manchester England.

19. Paul Mellars, The Neanderthal Legacy, (Princeton: University Press, 1996), p. 373

20. Ibid. p. 404

21. Hugh Ross, "Art and Fabric Shed New Light on Human History," Facts & Faith, 9:3 (1995)p. 2

22. C.B.M. McBurney, Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica),(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 90

23. Glynn Isaac, in Barbara Isaac, editor, The Archaeology of Human Origins, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 71

24. Vadim N. Stpanchuk, "Prolom II, A Middle Palaeolithic Cave Site in the Eastern Crimea with Non-Utilitarian Bone Artefacts," Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 59, 1993, pp 17-37, p. 33-34.

25. Mira Omerzel-Terlep, "A Typology of bone whistles, Pipes and Flutes and Presumed Palaeolithic Wind Instruments in Slovenia," in Ivan Turk, ed. Mousterian Bone Flute and other Finds from Divje Babe I Cave Site in Slovenia, (Ljubljana: Institute za Arheologijo, 1997), p.202-203

26. Vadim N. Stpanchuk, "Prolom II, A Middle Palaeolithic Cave Site in the Eastern Crimea with Non-Utilitarian Bone Artefacts," Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 59, 1993, pp 17-37, p. 33-34.

27. Paul Mellars, The Neanderthal Legacy, (Princeton: University Press, 1996), p. 373; Randall White, "Comments" Current Anthropology, 36:4(1995), pp. 605-634, p. 624

28. J.V.S. Megaw, "Penny Whistles and Prehistory," Antiquity XXXIV, 1960, pp 6-13, p. 7-8

29. Ibid., p. 6-7

30. Mira Omerzel-Terlep, "A Typology of Bone Whistles, Pipes and Flutes and Presumed Palaeolithic Wind Instruments in Slovenia," in Ivan Turk, ed. Mousterian Bone Flute and other Finds from Divje Babe I Cave Site in Slovenia, (Ljubljana: Institute za Arheologijo, 1997), p.203-204

31. The Charentian is an outdated name for the La Quina industry.See J. Jelinek, The Pictorial Encyclopedia of The Evolution of Man, (New York: Hamlyn, 1975), p. 137 for the identification of the Charentian with the La Quina type of Mousterian stone industry. See Paul C. Mellars, The Neanderthal Legacy, (Princetonrinceton University Press, 1996), p. 353.

32. Dirk Huyge, "Mousterian Skiffle? Note on a Middle Palaeolithic Engraved bone from Schulen, Belgium," Rock Art Research, 7(1990):2:125-133 p. 128-129

33. Ibid., p. 130-131

34. Steven L. Kuhn and Mary C. Stiner, "The Earliest Aurignacian of Riparo Mochi (Liguria, Italy)," Current Anthropology, Supplement, 39(1998):175-189, p. 182

35. Ibid., p. 131

36. Ramm, op. cit., p. 228

37. Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, (Minneapolis: Dimension, 1972), p. 46-47

38. Ramm, op. cit, p. 220.

Last Modified 8/22/98 Modifications in bold in the text