The oldest banjo?
According to the BBC, Archaeologists from the University of Exeter believe an Iron Age artefact discovered in Somerset may be an early form of banjo. Wood and hide normally do not survive long periods of burial in the soil, but the peat bogs of the Somerset levels have preserved a wealth of wooden artefacts, including long prehistoric trackways. The object, which the team from Exeter believe could be a banjo, was discovered several years ago at Meare Lake Village, an early Iron age site. A researcher from Exeter has just recognised that what were previously thought to be two separate objects actually join. The “banjo” neck is fretless with four crude wooden pegs one of which has traces of a chord like substance wrapped around it. The body is a skin drum and a small wooden attachment with four holes may have been an early form of tailpiece. If correct this would be the earliest known banjo yet found.