The Ancient Yue – 9,000 Years Old

Music in China is traditionally associated with ritual observances and government affairs.

In 1999, Chinese archeologists unearthed what is believed to be the oldest know playable instrument – a seven-holed flute fashioned 9,000 years ago from the hollow wing bone of a large bird.

To establish the age, a U.S. chemist at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory analyzed data from carbon-14 dating done in China on materials taken from the site.

The 9,000-year-old flutes were “exquisitely-crafted” from the wing bone of a red-crowned crane.


Music from the Book of Songs

In the Book of Songs, an ancient collection of Chinese poetry from the 6th century BC, the three-hole Yue is the most frequently mentioned wind instrument.

By the Tang Dynasty, the Yue had all but vanished.  Source: China Daily

Discover more with The Hsiao (Xiao) – Chinese Flute

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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13 Responses to The Ancient Yue – 9,000 Years Old

  1. […] 1999, Chinese archeologists unearthed what is believed to be the oldest know playable instrument, a seven-holed flute fashioned 9,000 years ago from the hollow wing bone of a large […]

  2. NN says:

    Lol. Sorry, I spell like a child and I saw now you wrote 1000 years ago.

  3. NN says:

    Then it is as I have suspected for a long time, I just wanted to find the explanation from Finnish point of view. Religion means re-legion in French, it literally means “renew” in political meaning. Time is of big importance and so they found a new way to understand the world and created what became to be before Christ. I can buy that, but I also am spiritual so there still is some truth in what is told in the Bible. It’s the priests who are only human who might have fallen in to sin and lied to us generation after generation. I agree with you that belief and politics should never be combined. It destroys and makes people confused. Either you talk pure spirituality or politics, not ever in the same sentence. Ones mind has to stay clear and our hearts pure. What has all this with the solar disc to do ? Simply that astrology is the road map to the celestial knowledge. But if you don’t teach or understand it with your heart and instead use it as a power tool we do get what we have today. True.

    I get even more convinced of that the Chinese and Finnish myth is telling us about hard times, death, robbery, sickness, starvation, genocide in the ending of the ice age. The myth wasn’t written down until in the 18th century, but all other myths have been spoken thousands of years before any of them have been recorded. Much of the objects in North have been destroyed by the climate changes, we never had high cultures where you can fins totems, stone buildings etc. During WW1 and WW2 mush have also been destroyed if there ever was any proof of earlier civilizations. They say that the have been an ancient kingdom in North (Fi, not Swe) far before the Romans, but I have not found anything about it. Very well… interesting tho.

    “!Yesterday, I finished writing a series of posts about the Mongols and the Yuan Dynasty and Kublai Khan, who ruled an empire almost a thousand years ago that stretched from the East China Sea to the Danube river.”

    From what time period is that ?

  4. NN says:

    Hi Lloyd !

    How’s it going for you ?
    And you have solved out the mystery concerning the Chinese and Finnish mythology about the stolen sky ? 🙂

    This old flute makes me think of the European mythological Pan playing in the forest. That’s what makes mythology interesting in combination with archeology, the stories come some how alive.

    • I haven’t found the connection concering Chinese and Finnish mythology but I did learn that the Roman Empire traded with China and Roman merchants set up trading ports in China, Vietnam, India, etc. to get there. Romans even visited China and met with governmnet officials.

      • NN says:

        It would be much easier to figure some things out if one always had all the empires borders in head from all epochs in time. Well, myths can be told of those who witnessed what happened in those times, i mean that the solar disc could very well have been that symbolic object in those Finnish and Chinese myths. In that case, according to what you say Roman brought it to Europe where it was found. It also have to have been some sort of change for them in North East. Maybe it became to inspire the Europeans and became a beginning of some sort of political changes ? At least I can say to my self that’s likely, so I don’t have to ponder more about it.

      • It is possible. I’m reading a book by K. D. Koratsky about evolution, Living With Evolution or Dying Without It.

        http://www.amazon.com/Living-Evolution-Dying-without-ebook/dp/B0042FZWIY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1286975049&sr=1-1

        Koratsky goes beyond just evolution as Darwin wrote about it. He also writes about the evolution of civilization, religions, etc. and puts all of evolution form that one cell slime that crawled out of the salt water to the evolution of humanity and what got us here today.

        If you read that book, you will see that there is a strong chance that the Finnish and Chinese myths are related because humans have been all over the place and influenced changes across the globe. The Chinese were isolated prior to the Han Dynasty then the silk road (both north and south since in the south the Silk Road was a sea route traveled by the Romans) opened for trade all the way to Europe and that was before the time of Jesus Christ.

        Yesterday, I finished writing a series of posts about the Mongols and the Yuan Dynasty and Kublai Khan, who ruled an empire almost a thousand years ago that stretched from the East China Sea to the Danube river.

      • What if the solar disc found in Finland had traveled the other direction to China?

      • NN says:

        If there ever was a great kingdom in Finland I could accept that thought. But now it feels more unlikely. Finland is more like a little and poor sister to the Asian world.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t most of the people in that area at that time herders and or farmers — sort of nomadic.

    • NN says:

      “Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t most of the people in that area at that time herders and or farmers — sort of nomadic.”

      You mean Bronze Age ?
      The Finns living in south/west of Finland lived side by side and together with the Vikings, the rest of the Finnish people (majority) was probably farmers yap, and also then living in west Russia before the Russian Tsars came to rule over the lands. They had this comb ceramic culture where the Asians may have found their ways by. Maybe some of the techniques came from Asia as well. Or it was something they, some of them imported/exported cross the Russian steppes.

      I was thinking of an old kingdom far more back in time, before the Vikings. I thought that if the Sky disk would have been made in north there must have been some sort of greater kingdom if some high cultural object would take place up here. But never mind… it was just an thought.

      But the sky disk possibly is from some northern tribes, it was something with the placing of the stars and the sun on it i don’t remember anymore.

      • NN says:

        Or not farmers really, they kept some animals to get milk, chickens for eggs and so on… At that time Finland wasn’t that populated yet after the Ice age, the most of the population was the Lapps. When the ice melted they went north, some lived side my side with Anglosax people coming from west and with asian/mongolian from east.

        It’s getting late here again…
        c u

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