Flutes are the earliest known identifiable musical instruments, as paleolithicexamples with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany. These flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. While the oldest flutes currently known were found in Europe, Asia too has a long history with the instrument that has continued into the present day. In China, a playable bone flute was discovered, about 9000 years old. The Americas also had an ancient flute culture, with instruments found in Caral, Peru, dating back 5000 years  and Labrador dating back approximately 7500 years.
A three-holed flute, 18.7 cm long, made from a mammothtusk (from the Geißenklösterle cave, near Ulm, in the southern German Swabian Alb and dated to 30,000 to 37,000 years ago) was discovered in 2004, and two flutes made from swan bones excavated a decade earlier (from the same cave in Germany, dated to circa 36,000 years ago) are among the oldest known musical instruments.