Visual Timeline: Tympanon
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1700 BCE: The earliest written hint to a hand-drum: the Jewish tof played by Moses’s sister, Miriam, in Exodus.
750 BCE: The earliest depiction of the tympanon on a bronze disc found in the Idaean Cave in Crete.
575 BCE: Scythian Philosopher Anacharsis plays the tympanon in his celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries, as accounted by Herodotus.
525 BCE: The tympanon first appears on Greek pottery.
499 BCE - 456 BCE: Aeschylus in The Edonians tells of the bull-roaring sound of the tympanon in the rites of the moon goddess, Kotys.
405 BCE: Euripides in The Bacchai has Dionysos tell us how the tympanon was invented by him and his Mother Goddess, Rhea.
205 BCE: The tympanon is adopted by the Romans together with the cult of Magna Mater.