History and origin of the Jawari, flat table bridge
The oldest known instrument with a flat bridge is a Sumeric silver lyre, see illustration. This drawing of the "Silver Lyre" found at Ur illustrates the kind of lyre played in the royal courts. Here the flat table bridge can be seen clearly.
The lyre was first mentioned about 2800 B.C. but is probably older. It can be said that although no bridge ever survived the thousands of years there is however some good evidence that the flat bridge was used. This is visible on the very important Bas Reliefs (see photos) from Larsa 2000 BC and now in the Iraq Museum. This is no doubt the oldest form of evidence of the age of the flat table bridge.
Thanks to Peter Pringle for this video showing how the flat bridge on a replica of the silver lyre from Ur produces jawari-like buzzing, Apparently, this instrument is around 5000 years old.