In Bible times, flutes might be made of reed, cane, or even bone or ivory. The flute was one of the most popular of all musical instruments. It was played on joyous occasions, such as at banquets and weddings (1Ki 1:40; Isa 5:12; 30:29), a custom imitated by children in public places. It was also played at times of sadness. Professional mourners were often accompanied by flutists playing mournful tunes. The piece of a flute shown here was found in Jerusalem in a layer of rubble that dates to when the temple was destroyed by the Romans. It is about 15 cm (6 in.) long and is likely made from a bone that was part of the leg of a cow or an ox.
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