The Lute

The lyre features a hollow body (made out of turtle shell in ancient Greece) which features a crossbar fixed to the body for string resonation, as well as two arms pointing off the body (sometimes hollowed) and a crossbar attached to the end of the arms. Strung with Gut strings, and strummed with a plectrum (pick), the lyre was immensely popular in Antient Greece, especially in Classical Antiquity (8th century BCE to 6th century AD) and used to accompany recitations of lyrics poetry. 

The earliest known depiction of a lyre is from 1400 BC.

Pictured: the Phormix Lyre

Temple Anthropology Laboratory and Museum 

Gladfelter Hall- Lower Level, Temple University

1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122

anthlab@temple.edu

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