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Grey Terracotta Ocarina
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2022.06.02 16:27:23


Measurements: H.7.3 cm, Dia. 11.8 cm, Bottom Dia. 4.4 cm
Period: Neolithic Yangshao Culture period (c. 5,000--3,000 years BCE)
Provenance: Acquired at Nanzhao county, Nanyang, Henan, 1956

Manually made, of an oval form, hollow inside, with a plain surface. A mouthpiece on the top and two small paralleled finger holes in the lower part.

Originated in the Neolithic Ages, ocarina is one of the earliest melody playable music instruments in China. The earliest ocarina known to date from the archaeological sources was from the Hemudu site, dating to 7,000 years ago, with only one mouthpiece. Its forms had not taken shape until the Shang dynasty after a slow evolvement, the number of the sound holes increased to six, and the tone it produced from single developed to a minor third, and pentatonic scale and diatonic scale.

A great variety of primitive musical instruments were archaeologically found in Henan province, the earliest one known to date is the bone flutes unearthed at the Jiahu site of Wuyang, which date to 8,000 years ago.