The punctures/tooth impact marks are often present on both sides of the shaft of cave bear cub femora and are simply a result of non-breakage of the slightly calcified shaft compacta. Indeed, neither hyenas, modern nor extinct, nor any carnivores mentioned use canines for ‘bone crushing’ (e.g. Did neanderthals play music? There are two things we can all agree on, though: we hope someday to uncover the true origin of the Divje Babe bone flute, and musical instruments certainly rank among the greatest inventions of members of the genus Homo. ), because all ‘fragmented’ bones were simply declared as due to ‘sediment pressure’. (a) Lateral outer view, (b) lateral inner view, (c–e) details of puncture holes of both sides and (f) refitting of the jaw with all tooth marks of both sides projected in one level which fit in one tooth mark of the bone crushing teeth of the upper jaw of a hyena (all PAL collection).Download figureOpen in new tabDownload powerPoint. All aforementioned femora and other cave bear bones with ‘holes’ (i.e. The perforated bone, found in an Eastern European cave, represents a flute made and played by Neandertals at least 43,000 ye us ago, the scientists contended. Drilled holes were produced experimentally for a reconstruction of a ‘cave bear cub bone flute’ (cf. [3,12–21]; figures 1 and 2), where always large amounts of damaged and also punctured cave bear bones are present, such as figured with many new examples herein for the northern German Weiße Kuhle Cave and other cave bear dens (figures 3–7). Found by archeologist Ivan Turk in a Neanderthal campsite at Divje Babe in northwestern Slovenia, this instrument (above) is estimated to be over 43,000 years old and perhaps as much as 80,000 years old. Taphonomy of a suggested Middle Paleolithic bone flute from Slovenia. figures 4–7). Introduction 2.1 First ‘bone flute descriptions’. The secon… figure 2). Figure 6. Several cave bear dens were studied, as well as larger bone collections (figure 1 and table 1). ‘Neanderthal bone flutes’: simply products of Ice Age spotted hyena scavenging activities on cave bear cubs in European cave bear dens. The Ice Age top predator research in Europe focused these past years on hunting of cave bears in large cave bear dens. indicator of absence of hyenas in alpine regions, and proof of holes made only by hyenas which are found only in middle high elevated mountain regions ). “Most paleoanthropologists accept that the Divje Babe ‘flute’ is a carnivore-chewed bone, but you do see it referred to as a flute from time to time,” says April Nowell, an archaeologist at the University of Victoria in Canada. Especially E. Schuhose, G. Volmer and B. Baumbach (Rübeländer Höhlenforschergruppe) and C. Hensel (cave management) supported the cave exploration and bone work in Herman's Cave. Tooth mark types, shapes and especially their positions on both sides of the shaft ends, or the middle part, were identified as the antagonistic upper and lower jaw tooth marks of hyenas. (6) Selected femur fragments of cub to subadult cave bears (U. s. eremus and U. s. Niko Borish is a Teen Volunteer in the Education Department. And amidst all the noise, voices get lost and some stories are never heard. A critical re-evaluation on bone surface modification models for inferring fossil hominin and carnivore interactions through a multivariate approach: application to the FLK Zinj archaeofaunal assemblage (Olduvai George, Tanzania). ). Subadult cave bear femora initially flaked (femur from Hermann's Cave, Germany). Cave bear metapodials from Divje Babe Cve 1. Between damage stages 2 (cutting) and 3 (cracking), there are already differences in cub to adult cave bear femora (figures 6 and 7). photo in ). As is now well known, Aurignacian humans lived in Europe together with the last and largest cave bear species U. ingressus [16,18,21,23,58,59]. Almost all prehistoric bone flutes come from a time in prehistory associated with post-Neanderthal activity, however the Divje Babe flute from Slovenia suggests both that Palaeolithic people were aware of music, but also that they used the same diatomic scale that we use today. [2,3]) and Late Palaeolithic Aurignacian (not Neanderthal) used rock shelter camp site at the entrance (cf. (a) Cranial view, (b) detail of the cranial tooth mark holes, (c) caudal view, (d) detail of the caudal tooth mark holes, (e) reconstruction refitting of the P-teeth into the cranial and caudal tooth pits, demonstrating exact fitting and two overlapping diagonal tooth marks (GTCP collection). figures 2 and 3). Age composition of the cave bear population from Divje Babe I Cave. Well, maybe not. (a) Dorsal, (b) lateral, (c) detail of tooth mark hole (GTCP collection). Ist der Knochen eines Höhlenbären aus Divje Babe, Slowenien, eine Flöte des Neandertalers? Neanderthal flute: oldest musical instrument: matches notes of do, re, mi scale: musicological analysis. My thanks to Rose for “Neanderthal Bone Flute” and the accompanying observations. One more argument for the holes to be of hyena origin (or carnivore tooth mark in general) are the tooth mark hole margins. Figure 8. At cave bear dens hyenas left, by periodic scavenging, up to 20% of damaged bones, whereas also lions (cave bear killers), leopards and wolves played a larger role in the cave bear hunting/scavenging, even deep in caves. ). The five-holed flute has a V-shaped mouthpiece and is made from a vulture wing bone. Pseudo ‘Neanderthal bone flutes’ of different aged cave bear (U. s. subsp. Figure 1. ; figure 1). Read Wikipedia in Modernized UI. This is known due to lack of breakage on most of the cave bear cub femora, which generally show additional diagonal zigzag margins (from chewing joints by scissor teeth of hyenas) or have triangular or smaller scratch tooth marks. Mokriška jama, nova visokoalpska aurignaška postaja v Jugoslaviji. The Divje Babe flute is believed to be one of the earliest examples of a musical instrument. Oase Cave material was studied in the Institute Emil Racovita, Romania (IR). Musica instrumentalis. ‘bone flute holes’ (composed and adapted from [4,14,15,22,23]; illustrations G. Teichmann). These old ‘cave bear cannibalistic models’ were already revised, with many arguments not to be existent, including the top predators as bone damagers (including human bones) in Europe (e.g. The perforated bone, found in an Eastern European cave, … figure 2). Figure 8. New research shows that the ‘flute’ is actually just a bone that’s been gnawed on by a hyena (it’s unlikely that the hyena used it as a flute). A taphonomic study of wild wolf (Canis lupus) modification on horse bones in Northwestern Spain. [2,3]) and Late Palaeolithic Aurignacian (not Neanderthal) used rock shelter camp site at the entrance (cf. (1) This femur of an adult cave bear (U. s. eremus) from the Große Teufels Cave, Germany (PO collection), is the best proof for the hyena tooth mark and damage origin, where two diagonal tooth marks (i.e. Using all these strange presentations by Turk et al. Take your passion further by supporting and driving more of the nature news you know and love. The results indicate that 'Neanderthal bone flutes' do not show marks made by stone drills, but rather, the circular holes are the result of Ice Age hyenas’ teeth, which were strong enough to puncture the soft bones of juvenile bears. Including also the new studies of the omnivorous brown bears of Arilla et al. Puncture holes are produced by canines (in cranium), whereas the breakage of the left mandible is the result of hyena premolar cracking teeth. (2) Proximally chewed and punctured femur joint of a subadult cave bear (U. s. spelaeus or U. ingressus) from the Weiße Kuhle Cave, Germany. The bone crusher of longbones was only the Ice Age spotted hyena, which produced round/oval puncture marks on cave bear cub bones by the bone crushing premolar teeth, i.e. Todkopf calls it a "Neanderthal tuba." , because the distal ends were already said to have ‘carnivore damage’ . subsp.) In this cave, cave bear hunts by Cro-Magnon humans seem to be indicated on a cave bear shoulder blade pathology (large diagonal impact hole, partly healed diagonal hole) that seems to have been made by a probable Mladeč projectile bone point . His scholarship and that of his colleagues resulted in accurate dating and description of the flute and its context (Turk et al, 1997). This explains why puncture marks are found only in cub (less 1 year) femora, and partly in subadults, whereas they are absent completely in adults, because hyenas cracked those bones into pieces with the premolar triangle teeth (i.e. Oldest and most northern Late Palaeolithic cave bear hunters in Europe. The Divje Babe Flute is made from the bone of a cave bear femur, and it is pierced by holes that have the spacing and alignment of a flute. Amazing, right? Pleistocene Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss, 1810) remains from the Balve Cave (NW Germany)—a cave bear, hyena den and Middle Palaeolithic human cave, and review of the Sauerland Karst lion sites. Hyenas produced round–oval puncture marks in cub femora only by the bone-crushing premolar teeth of both upper and lower jaw. In total, holes are ventral (7×), dorsal (3×) and in five cases on both sides. Small parallel rectangular scratches on the pseudo-bone flute of Divje Babe Cave 1 were misinterpreted as cut marks (cf. eremus (smallest cave bear) and spelaeus (i.e. Cave bear killers, scavengers between the Scandinavian and Alpine Ice shields—the last hyenas and cave bears in antagonism—and the reason why cave bears hibernated deeply in caves. [3,4,16,18–21,51,56]; figure 2). Also the figure of bone crushing by Turk et al. List of fossil faunal remains from Potočka zijalka (Slovenia). Whether it is actually a flute created by Neanderthalsis a subject of debate. For some the results are not that surprising. All former archaeological, ecological focus cave bear ‘bone flute’ studies forgot all four cave bear predators—steppe lions (Panthera leo spelaea), leopards (Panthera pardus spelaea), Ice Age spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta spelaea) and Ice Age wolves (Canis lupus spelaeus)—which are known now to be cave bear killers, and main consumers in mountain regions, where mammoth steppe megafauna were absent [4,18–21]. There are further arguments for the hyena origin on longbone shaft punctures found similar to radius and tibia cub shafts which are similar to femur shaft cross section, but stronger in their compacta in this animal age stage (figure 4). ; figure 5(4)), where also Neanderthal Mousterian layers were believed to be present , was declared twice incorrectly as the ‘oldest instrument’, a 43 140 BP old ‘Neanderthal flute’ from layer 8 [26,27] (figure 5(4)). The Aurignacian lithic material appears also together with cave bear remains . There, where they are dated absolutely (Divje Babe Cave 1) are without archaeological context at all, and simply of cave bear den use during the MIS 3–5d. (4) Shaft from the Oase Cave, Romania, cranial (IR collection). Cave bear bones and archaeological layers are therefore not exactly isochronous in several cases (even mixed due to possibly bioturbation by cave bears building their nests, or burrowing porcupines or digging Ice Age spotted hyenas; cf. Subadult cave bear femora initially flaked (femur from Hermann's Cave, Germany). U. s. eremus, U. s. spelaeussensu taxonomy of Stiller et al. A studied ulna of a cave bear at the site is one of the best examples of bone crushing by hyena premolar teeth. Museum employees, volunteers, and interns are encouraged to blog about their unique experiences and … Table 1.Studied and from literature compiled cave bear, hyena, wolf den sites with pseudo-bone flutes (i.e. O'odham Style Flutes - This style of flute comes from the People of Southern Arizona. Holotype skulls, stratigraphy, bone taphonomy and excavation history in the Zoolithen Cave and new theory about Esper's ‘great deluge’. Studied and referred Late Pleistocene (MIS3–5d) European cave sites with ‘Palaeolithic cave bear pseudo-bone flutes’, and compared cave bear dens with hyena influence (hyena palaeobiogeography of 150 sites ). (1) Femur from Mokriška Jama Cave, Slovenia (photos adapted from ; NMLS collection). ) and are very different also on the hole margins and forms. details in ). diagonal cut) can be reconstructed, and where lower and upper jaw premolar teeth and their antagonistic tooth mark impact holes fit exactly to the hyena skull dentition. There, the cave bear layers themselves, which generally span from the MIS3–5d=25,000–113,000 BP, overlap/intercalate with the Cro-Magnon times, mainly Aurignacian, partly Gravettian, cultural layers [5,23,57]. and U. ingressus). Figure 2. Ethnologist/musicians created then a wave of ‘cave bear bone instruments’ based solely on ‘holes in bones’ (compiled in ), from all kinds of carnivore punctured cave bear bones, even other than femora. New Evidence for cave bear hunting from Potočka Zijalka Cave, Slovenia. However, the main ‘bone destructor’ is known to be the European Ice Age spotted hyena  (figure 2), with cave bear bone damage first understood at the overlapping hyena den (cave entrance) and cave bear den of the Perick Caves [50–52], with newer proof at Sophie's Cave [21,22], and Hermann's Cave  or Zoolithen Cave  and herein best demonstrated and newly added for the Weiße Kuhle Cave (figures 3, 4, 6 and 7). I. Geology and palaeontology. That’s especially true of our planet’s countless wild species: big and small, threatened and persecuted, complex and fascinating. Dated and tested independently by two laboratories, in England and Germany, the artifacts are authentic products of the Homo sapiens Aurignacian archaeological culture, made in between 43,000 and 35,000 years ago. ). Finally, some flakes and refitted cub femora, both with tooth mark holes, prove the bone cracking activities at cave sites. Her first book of poems, Bundle o’ Tinder, was selected by Richard Wilbur for the 2007 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, and will be published by Waywiser Press in November this year. (eremus or spelaeus) and the large U. ingressus, and from mountainous regions, where Ice Age spotted hyenas were around all over Europe (cf. I thank for the study support of material from Sophie's Cave Mrs S. Dess. and U. ingressus) longbones (humerus, radius, tibia) and pelvic and pedal bones by top predator (lions, leopards, hyenas and wolves) canine and mainly premolar hyena teeth. The ‘cave bear cub femora with holes’ are, in all cases, neither instruments nor human made at all. On cub femora, which are not well calcified and elastic-spongious in the compacta, hyenas produced in many cases only holes with their premolar bone crushing teeth (mainly P3) due to unsuccessful bone crushing (femur from Oase Cave, Romania). Pleistocene bears in the Swabian Jura (Germany): genetic replacement, ecological displacement, extinctions and survival. Excavation in the cave Divje Babe I, where the Neanderthal flute was found (Wikipedia) In 2008, another discovery was made – a bone flute in the Hohle Fels cave near Ulm in Germany dating back 43,000 years. VIEW more from this CONTRIBUTOR. Potok Cave), Slovenia . (1) Cub skull (small cave bear form U. spelaeus eremus) from the Weiße Kuhle Cave, Germany, which was scavenged strongly on the left side. This area is thinner in the compacta than the dorsal one. Europe's first Upper Pleistocene Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss, 1823) skeleton from the Konìprusy Caves—a hyena cave prey depot site in the Bohemian Karst (Czech Republic)—Late Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros scavengers. The figured ‘bone flutes’ of Divje Babe Cave 1, Mokriška Jama Cave and all other Slovenian ‘pseudo-bone flutes’ are housed in the National Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Hungary (NMLS). © 2015 The Authors. The bone's holes on the dorsal side appear not to line up, whereas on the ventral side another hole was declared as the ‘thumb hole’. According to musicologist Bob Fink, the flute’s four finger holes match four notes of a diatonic (Do, Re, Mi…) scale. 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Ardèvol and an unknown reviewer for the study support of material Sophie..., holes are ventral ( 7× ), Dorsal ( 3× ) and U. ingressus ( largest cave den. That further incorrectness about cave bear den ( cf of Late Ice Age spotted (... H.-W. Weber ( Arbeitsgemeinschaft Höhle und Karst Hemer e.V. about cave bear hyena! Ice Age cave bears are ‘ soft ’ and thin-walled in the Speleological Institute Emil Racovita,,... Variations in carnivore tooth-mark frequencies in a limestone quarry near Düsseldorf bear in! Svetovne instrumentalne glasbene zgodovine for the Aurignacians–Gravettians [ 5,22,23,57 ] Slovenia last,. Flute ” and the accompanying observations carnivore damage cave bears ( U. s. eremus and U. (! ] that lack carnivore ecology knowledge, especially in tooth and jaw function to! Bone cracking activities at cave sites in Europe holes from Divje Babe Slovenia... Remains [ 25 ] shame for all the world to see Neanderthalerflote ’ von Divje-Babe: eine Revolution in Musikgeschichte... Swabian Jura ( Germany ): prispevek k teoriji luknjanja kosti heterodont in specialized! It 's every hyena male 's nightmare sex scenario other items suggesting religious ceremony puncture in., damage on cave bear hunt [ 23 ] 40,000 years ago more, and result from diagonal cuts mainly... Small bone flute of with stone tools help to “ dismantle a myth that has been too in! Cracking activities at cave sites tomografije najstarejše domnevne piščali iz Divjih bab I ( Slovenija.! 1 were misinterpreted as cut marks ( cf in European cave, Slovenia ( adapted... Presence/Absence and positions of round–oval puncture marks of premolar teeth ) detail tooth! Teeth to crush longbones, or any other bones Teufels cave by s. Frühbeißer and was by! 'S every hyena male 's nightmare sex scenario hyena premolar teeth Northwestern Spain ( 12 ) humeri. Pch collection ) holes dot the surface of the adult ones, which were fully to. 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Famous bear den ( cf carnivore ecology knowledge, especially in tooth and jaw function leads to interpretations! Thought only to be of ‘ carnivore chewing damage ’ origin ( cf or cave. Have been fashioned from the Weiße Kuhle cave, Slovenia, a small cave bones. Femur joint has been too persistent in some circles similar tooth mark holes prove... Displacement, extinctions and survival at a few cave sites mark hole ( GTCP collection ) from... At all flute has a V-shaped mouthpiece and is made from a vulture wing bone 22 ;... Horste, Taphonomie und Prädatoren der Rübeländer Höhlenbären, Harz ( Norddeutschland ) taphonomy at Divje Babe I cave two... The ramus, or flakes of the lower distal mandible remains have large damage. Not in Middle Palaeolithic archaeological, but of Late Palaeolithic cave bear ( subsp! More of the cave bear femur bone flute the reset instructions from [ 16 ] ; neanderthal bone flute )... Iz Divjih bab I ( Slovenija ) we love it that way rectangular... Incorrectness about cave bear dens, those seem to exclude even cannibalism within U. a. arctos activities on bear.
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