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Archaeo News 

30 October 2005
New find in Iran may be ancient musical instrument

A team of archaeologists recently discovered an unidentified artifact in a grave beside a skeleton at the ancient site of Gohar-Tappeh in Mazandaran Province. The director of the team, Ali Mahforuzi, said that some prominent musicians of Mazandaran believe that the artifact looks like a clarinet.
     If the archaeologists can prove that the artifact is a musical instrument, the 3000-year-old relic would be the oldest musical instrument ever discovered in the region, Mahforuzi added. "The artifact is made of a deer antler in which several holes are seen, and a brass layer has been riveted with seven nails to its end."
     No additional studies have been carried out on the skeleton yet. But considering the size, the archaeologists estimate that it is a male. In addition, a dagger, a cup and a glass, as well as a bracelet and a necklace have also been found in the grave. A bronze ribbon and a brass sheet were also put around the head of the skeleton.
     "With the discovery of the artifact, the musical history of the region dates can be dated back to older an era, indicating the cultural development of the inhabitants of the region 3000 years ago," Mahforuzi said. Today, in the villages of northern Mazandaran and in Gohar-Tappeh, the clarinet is still made out of a deer antler.
     Covering an area of 40 hectares, Gohar-Tappeh is located in the northern part of the province. Ruins and other artifacts unearthed in the region indicate that the site dates back to the Iron Age, but further study is required to determine its specific period during the Iron Age. The proximity of the ruins of architectural structures and the cemetery indicates that Gohar-Tappeh was a permanent settlement millennia ago.

Source: Mehr News (28 October 2005)

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