On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

The tibia was sounded with a double reed, and two pipes would have been played simultaneously. The small tubes or chimneys projecting from the side of this instrument and the rings encircling its body were likely part of a complex mechanical system designed to increase the number of notes and modal scales that could be played on a single instrument.
Often played in pairs, tibia were widespread throughout the Mediterranean world. They varied in length and construction and were used in many contexts: funerals, sacrificial rites, banquets, boxing matches, marriages and games.

Tibia, Ivory, silver, chalcedony, Syrian

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