JERUSALEM, June 12 (Reuters) – A 12,000-year-old miniature whistle made from bird bone found in northern Israel is the sound of birdsong at a time when humans were sophisticated in their interactions with animals. A team of scientists announced that it may have been used for
Seven tiny wing bones found at an excavation site in Hula Valley, a popular birdwatching spot to this day, have been confirmed to have small holes drilled into the bones for inserting fingers or for use as mouthpieces. it was done.
When the researchers built a fragile replica of the original, they found it emitted a high-pitched call similar to that of a bird of prey.
One theory is that the flute was used to attract birds of prey, namely sparrowhawks and kestrels, to frighten waterfowl and make them easier to catch.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Center for French Studies in Jerusalem, the National Center for Scientific Research and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Over 500 million birds pass through the Hula Valley each year on their migration between Europe and Africa, making it a popular destination for bird watchers.
Eurasian coot and teal flute bones were found at the Einan/Ain Marah excavation site associated with the last hunter-gatherers of the Natuf period, 12,000 years ago.
According to Tal Simmons, a forensic anthropologist at Virginia Commonwealth University who identified the bird species, that was when our ancestors began to settle, farm and domesticate animals.
Using the flute to communicate with birds, Simmons said, “definitely strengthened the transition to an era when human-animal relationships began to change.”
Reporting by Dedi Hayun and Ali Rabinovic.Editing: Nick McPhee
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