Subscribe to Archaeology

Possible Lithophones Identified in Colorado Museum

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

LONGMONT, COLORADO—Archaeologists Marilyn Martorano and David Killam think stone artifacts housed in the museum at Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado may have been lithophones, or percussion instruments, according to a 9 News report. Martorano said the stones had been carefully shaped, but were too big and heavy—measuring in some cases more than two feet long and weighing ten pounds—to have been used to crush and grind. When the researchers learned that similar stones, which make a sound when struck, have been found in Europe, they tested the Colorado stones. “I was so amazed because they make a real ringing sound and I couldn’t get over it,” Matorano said. Now other researchers in Colorado are checking museum collections for possible lithophones. “I have a lot of questions that remain, that we still don’t know about,” Matorano added. “Where did they get the rock to make these? And how old are they? We really don’t know a lot about that because many of these were picked up by collectors.” For more on the archaeology of music, go to “Renaissance Melody.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement