The World's Oldest Musical Instrument is a Bone Flute from Germany
Move over, Beethoven. It seems as though the creative arts were alive and well right here in Germany, 45,000 years ago.
A string of caves in the Swabian region of southern Germany have unearthed some of man's earliest art, including a flute made out of bird's bone and mammoth ivory. This is the oldest musical instrument ever found to date, which suggests the first humans to come to Europe were musical.
Apparently the Danube River was a key passage for the movement of Neanderthals during the Aurignacian period (45,000 to 35,000 years ago) where water was plentiful and life was prosperous. Other examples of figurative art, mythical imagery and even the beginnings of religion were found in the now famed Geissenkloesterle cave, suggesting that social networks and self-expression were happening long, long before.
The caves are found outside of Blaubeuren, you could even make a Wanderung of it and go excavating. Which I might do since I live only a few hours away. In fact, I hear that Blauerbeuren hosts an annual Höhlenwandertag (Cave Hike) to explore these primordial caverns. What's not to be excited about?