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Inspired by one of the world's early instruments in prehistory, we have found the same Charonia genus shell to create a modern version of this ancient shell trumpet. The original was discovered in 1931 in the french cave site of Marsoulas, in the Pyrenese Range.    It was dated to 17 to 18,000 years ago in the Magdelenian time period of the European Paleolithic.  It was not immediately recognized as a horn/trumpet instrument, but new archaeological technigues were able to find the human alternations, which included cutting off the apex cap, and drilling a hole through two middle chambers.   It is one of the only known wind instruments from the paleolithic, and is very similar to other conch shell horn methods used throughout the Pacific and Mesoamerican cultures later.   It is still unclear if waxy/resinous subject around the mouthpiece was for protecting the lips or for sealing a mouthpiece attachement.   Either way it shows purposeful alteration as a wind instrument.    The new scans also detected red ochre painted dots inside the shell flare, that matched the paint styles of the cave paintings at the site, and other sites from the period.  In recent years the original was allowed to be tested for its sound qualities, and actually produced a solid C, C sharp, and D notes as we know them today, when played by skilled musician.   There are no skilled musicians here,  but with a few minutes of practice we were able to get a good clear note out of this piece, and the experiment truly brought that story in history to life.  We were able to find the same genus Charonia shell (this one around 10 inches) to make this replica produce similar result, and it should serve as a fine representation of what the original sounded like.

Shell Trumpet/Marsoulas Cave Model

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