Use and Sonority of a 23,000-Year-Old Bone Aerophone from Davant Pau Cave (NE of the Iberian Peninsula)

Juan José Ibáñez, Jesús Salius, Ignacio Clemente-Conte, Narcís Soler
2015 Current Anthropology  
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more » ... Current Anthropology. The production of sound is a significant human capacity that is used, through the generation of feelings and emotions, for conditioning social and biological reproduction. Despite this elevance and although several hundred instruments have been attributed to the production of sound along the Upper Paleolithic, our knowledge of how and in what contexts music was played during this period is still quite limited. In this paper, the aerophone found in the Davant Pau excavation, in the northeast part of the Iberian Peninsula, dated to 23,000 years cal BP, is studied to infer, through experimentation and microwear analysis, how it was made and used. It is a whistletype instrument that would have allowed the production of an almost monotonic sound, which could be acutely syncopated, generating a fast rhythm. This is a type of sound most probably used in collective ceremonies in which the coordination of the participants was important, as observed in several ethnographic studies of hunter-gatherer groups.
doi:10.1086/680437 fatcat:fhpsm2w5yfa6hj2dqwv4twos4u