In Southern Vietnam's Long An province, archaeologists dug up this deer antler that they believe is a 2,000-year-old musical instrument. Australian National University researcher Fredeliza Campos and her colleagues aren't certain how the instrument was played or exactly how it sounded but it's likely that a single string was plucked or bowed to produce music. (The image above compares the instrument (A), including digitally-added peg and string, to other Vietnamese instruments (B,C, and D). From the ANU Reporter:
"This stringed instrument, or chordophone, is one of the earliest examples of this type of instrument in Southeast Asia," Ms Campos said.
"It fills the gap between the region's earliest known musical instruments – lithophones or stone percussion plates – and more modern instruments.
"It would've been around 35cm long and had a hole at one end for a peg, which would've been important for tuning. It also had what looks like a bridge to support the string.
"No other explanation for its use makes sense." […]
"It is clearly established that music played an important role in the early cultures of this region. The striking similarities between the artefacts we studied and some stringed instruments that are still being played suggest that traditional Vietnamese music has its origins in the prehistoric past," Ms Campos said.