Oscar Todkopf article

Oscar Todkopf article - And a One and a . . .Uh, Uh . . ....

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And a One and a . . .Uh, Uh . . . The most significant discovery in Oscar Todkopf's career was entirely serendipitous. Last April, the Hindenburg University paleontologist was hiking in Germany's Neander Valley when he tripped over something on a trail. Some quick digging exposed the obstacle as the tip of a mastodon tusk. But it wasn't until a few weeks later when the entire tusk was unearthed and dated that Todkopf realized the magnitude of his find. The tusk, he believes, was a Neanderthal musical instrument. Todkopf calls it a Neanderthal "tuba." Like the bone flute discovered in Slovenia last year, the 50,000-year-old tuba predates the presence of anatomically modern humans in Europe. Sixteen carefully aligned holes dot the surface of the six-foot-long tusk. "I think a Neanderthal master craftsman must have used a stone awl to hollow out the tusk and to punch the holes," says Todkopf. The number of holes, he says, suggests that Neanderthals used an octave scale. Todkopf also uncovered the remains of what appear to be at least three other instruments. One
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