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17,000-Year-Old Conch Shell, Thought To Be Ceremonial Cup, Is A Horn

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. When archaeologists found a large seashell in a French cave in 1931, they thought it was a ceremonial cup. But after 90 years and fresh research, scientists now say it's a musical instrument crafted about 18,000 years ago. The tip of the conch shell has been expertly broken off and holes punched out to produce different notes. To demonstrate, they hired - who else? - a French horn player.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: It's MORNING EDITION (laughter). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.