The Magic of the Flute
See Neolithic and medieval flutes from the archaeology collection recreated and played in the Celtic Village, St Fagans.
To celebrate the Music 09 theme at National Museum Wales, craftsman Gareth Riseborough will be recreating two bone objects from our Archaeology collections.
The earliest musical instrument from Wales?
In 1971 a sheep bone with three holes on one side was found in a Stone Age tomb at Penywyrlod in mid Wales.
Some say that this is a bone whistle left behind by mourners, 6,000 years ago. Others say it’s just a bone, chewed by a dog. Archaeologists can’t agree, so Gareth is going to make a replica and try to play a tune.
Will his whistle allow us to hear the music of early Wales? Or will it disprove the theory and send us back to the drawing board? Find out with us.
A Very Special Flute
The medieval flute on display in the Origins gallery was found in the moat at White Castle, Llantilio Crossenny. The flute is made from a deer bone, which makes it very unusual, as only important people were allowed to kill deer in those days – poorer people made their flutes from sheep bones.
The flute is carefully shaped, and decorated with a pattern of dots, which is also very rare – of nearly 120 medieval flutes in Britain, this is the most ornately decorated. It must have belonged to someone important.
Our very special flute has been silent for more than 700 years. Will Gareth be able to make it sing again? With thanks to Dr. Helen Leaf for her help and advice in planning this project.
A Festival of British Archaeology event.