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Italy's 5,000-yr-old instrument hints at sounds of Rome's prehistoric past

Many everyday objects were used in prehistoric times to make music

Elisabetta Povoledo | NYT 

When the archaeologist Giovanni Carboni first came upon the oddly shaped ceramic object during an excavation in a Roman suburb in 2006, he was baffled. “I said — please don’t write this, though, because I said a swear word — I said: ‘What the heck is this thing,’ ” Dr. Carboni recalled recently. The object resembled half an oversize walnut shell, the rim perforated evenly with holes. It had been found in a tomb, placed next to the body of an adult man (identified only by his teeth after centuries lying in acidic earth). “I had ...

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First Published: Sat, October 20 2018. 21:19 IST