Music

The Neanderthal Flute: Lecture and performance by Boštjan Gombač

28. 10. - 28. 10. 2022

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

We are delighted to cordially invite you to the lecture and performance by Boštjan Gombač. Here, he will introduce you to the world’s oldest musical instrument, a flute made by Neanderthals who inhabited his home country of Slovenia. Estimated to be 50,000 – 60,000 years old, it is carved from the thighbone of a cave-dwelling bear.

Boštjan Gombač will give a talk about the discovery of the flute in Slovenia’s Divje Babe cave and its evolutionary and cultural significance. He will explain its features and acoustics and play a reconstruction of the original flute, which originates from a time when there was only one human species on European soil – the Neanderthal. The discovery of the flute more than 20 years ago disproved outdated ideas that Neanderthals were primitive humans, incapable of artistic, spiritual and abstract expression. This ancient flute is probably the oldest evidence of musical creation in human history.