Crossing Borders: Musical Change & Exchange through Time

Publications of the ICTM Study Group on Music Archaeology, Vol. 2

Prehistoric Triton Shell Horns in Europe

Francesco Marano

Charonia shells are known from many Mediterranean sites but also other geographical contexts.
The removed apex, which is present in some specimens, allows us to suppose that these shells were used to produce sounds. Thee use of Charonia shells as horns is well-known in historic times; they are mentioned in Latin literary sources, and illustrated on Roman sarcophagi. The presence of these horns during the pre- and proto-history periods is less known, but there are many finds, which are principally located along the Mediterranean basin. This paper gives an overview of the prehistoric fnds and their archaeological contexts.

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