I recently read a book called "Music and Musicians in Ancient Egypt," and the author, Lise Manniche mentions the existence of lutes discovered in tombs dating back to the 5th Dynasty. However, my searches have all come up empty-handed.
I'd like to know if any of you string gurus know of these instruments, and if so, are they fretted, and could someone (or has someone) discerned the size of intervals between the frets?
In the book, the author gives an example of intervals that a certain musicologist extrapolated from the distance between frets on a lute in a fresco, but given the highly stylized nature of ancient Egyptian art, I find that a dubious method at best.
Would an artist painting half-human half-jackal characters have actually bothered to measure the distance between frets on a lute and depict them accurately?