A rare and remarkably well-preserved bone flute has been discovered during excavations by Cotswold Archaeology on a development site at Herne Bay, on the north Kent coast.
The musical instrument was found in a medieval pit, in association with pottery dated from the 12th to 15th century.
Crafted from the tibia shaft of a sheep or a goat, with five finger holes carved along the top and a thumb hole underneath, it is believed to be a ‘fipple flute’ – a variety of instrument that includes the tin whistle and recorder.
Though it may be missing some form of mouthpiece, it is otherwise complete.
Investigations at Herne Bay have so far unearthed a wealth of evidence alluding to multiple periods of occupation, including ditches, pits, and pottery spanning from the Middle-Late Bronze Age through to the Roman period.
Other evidence of Anglo-Saxon or early medieval activity is represented by archaeological features such as pits, postholes, and a small rectangular enclosure (where the flute was discovered).
Post-excavation analysis is ongoing.