Conch Shell Trumpet Played for First Time in 3,000 Years

conch shell trumpet ancient 111

Blowing the ancient conch shell.

More than 3,000 years ago, an ancient Peruvian culture fashioned conch shells into instruments, creating sounds rarely heard in music. Back in 2001, archaeologists uncovered twenty of these marine shell trumpets at an archaeological site known as Chavín de Huántar. The instruments, known as pututus, were exquisitely carved and remarkably well-preserved. The mouthpieces are in pretty much perfect condition, and we can still see distinct cuts into the shell’s sides that were likely used as rests for the musician’s thumbs.

Recently, researchers traveled to Chavín de Huántar to record the sounds of the pututus in their original context…

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