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Prehistoric Acoustics & Megalithic Noises

staticgirl

Justified & Ancient
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I can't find a general thread that really covers this although it's been discussed in the Chirping Pyramid thread and Vibrating Stones at Stonehenge thread.

An online friend visited the chapel at Glanusk, in Wales so I popped into his Flickr account to look at the photos. The chapel seems to have been plonked on top of a stone circle, like they sometimes are, and he wrote underneath one picture (posted with permission):
"Amazing but this stone humms! in one direction only as I passed by I heard quite clearly a humming sound...."
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33928953@N ... 287837780/

I love this subject. I am fascinated by the idea that stones may have been selected for acoustic properties or the sounds that stones made accidentally have become part of their power and magic.

This is an interesting blog about the investigation of Stonehenge's acoustic properties: http://soundsofstonehenge.wordpress.com/conclusions/

It says
Standard measures of acoustics such as envelopment, clarity and definition, as well as speech intelligibility, are in some positions at Stonehenge better than the equivalent values for the Vienna Concert Hall...

Anyway I thought you'd like to look at the photo and next time you pass that way you could test to see the stone hummed again!

Any other experiences to relate?
 
No personal experiences (would love to hear this for myself!) but some related articles:

This marriage of architecture and sound was studied at two megalithic sites by A. Watson and D. Keating. Since we have previously attended to the acoustics of stone chambers, we will bypass their work on the huge chambered cairn called Camster Round and focus on the recumbent stone circle (RSC) called Easter Aquorthies near Aberdeen, Scotland…. Measurements confirmed the focussing the sounds within the ring but did not record the subtle reverberations detected by humans.... It seems that Easter Aquorthies was designed deliberately to enhance the acoustical and visual effects experienced by an audience within the ring.
link
Rudimentary acoustical measurements performed inside six diverse Neolithic and Iron Age structures revealed that each sustained a strong resonance at a frequency between 95 and 120 Hz (wavelength about 3m)….
In some cases, internal and exterior rock drawings resembled these acoustical patterns. Since the resonant frequencies are well within the adult male voice range, one may speculate that some forms of human chanting, enhanced by the cavity resonance, were invoked for ritual purpose.
link
A fascinating article in Pour la Science, has described how ancient paintings in some of Europe's famous decorated caves were placed where sound resonated. To illustrate, examine the accompanying illustration of the north wall of the Jeannel Gallery of Portel Cave, in Arlege. The long, looping dotted line indicates the amplitude of resonating sound at a frequency of 95 Hertz, as the long gallery behaves like a giant wind instrument.
link

Side note: Damn! Who's going to take up William Corliss's work?
 
The 7,500 year-old Armenian megalithic site Karahunj (or Carahunge) is named after the Armenian words for singing and stones.
Several of the stones have holes in them, resulting in eery whistling sounds when the wind is strong enough.
The weird sounds may have been deliberately engineered or could just be a by-product of the astronomically aligned sighting holes.

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There are also some strange petroglyphs nearby of large-headed and large-eyed entities, accompanied by floating disks, which some people believe depict ancient aliens:

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With Armenia's tourism industry really beginning to take off, this should be of interest to the Fortean traveller and could well feature on my bucket list before too long.

http://armeniapedia.org/wiki/Karahunj
 
The "Oracle Chamber" in Malta's Hypogeum is another good example of remarkable prehistoric acoustics.
When I visited it around 8 years ago, I felt a bit too self-conscious to really put it to the test, but muttered a slightly subdued "om" in front of the oracle hole.
Not sure I can quite corroborate the claim that any sound is "magnified a hundredfold and is audible throughout the entire structure" but it did feel a bit weird.

malta.png


The second link below is an article speculating that some ancient buildings - including the Hypogeum, were designed to create healing vibes triggered by sound.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/new...ts-unravel-sound-effects-malta-s-hypogeum-hal

https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/healing-sound-ancient-temples-111hz-006749
 
Current link to the Chirping Pyramid thread as in the OP.

Funnily enough, I heard this chirping effect (again) at Tikal, Guatemala, earlier this year, stood more-or-less equidistantly between Temples I and II in the Great Plaza.
I remember hearing such a chirping effect when I was a child. Running about in the school quadrangle, with buildings on all sides, would make my footsteps echo with a chirping sound added. It was probably caused by multiple echoes converging at slightly different times.
 
Rocky resonances in Devil's Church.

The national park of Koli in eastern Finland is home to a famous, 34-meter-long crevice cave known as Pirunkirkko, or Devil's Church in English. In folklore, this crevice cave was known as a place where local sages would meet to contact the spirit world. Even today, the place is visited by practitioners of shamanism, who organize drumming sessions in the cave.

A new article in Open Archaeology by Riitta Rainio, a researcher of archaeology at the University of Helsinki, and Elina Hytönen-Ng, a researcher of cultural studies at the University of Eastern Finland, investigates the acoustics of the Devil's Church and explores whether the acoustic properties of the cave could explain the beliefs associated with it, and why it was chosen as a place for activities and rituals involving sound.

The researchers found that the Devil's Church houses a distinct resonance phenomenon that amplifies and lengthens sound at a specific frequency. This phenomenon may have significantly impacted the beliefs and experiences associated with the cave.

The researchers reviewed historical archives showing that several known sages and healers operated in the Koli area. The most famous of the sages was a man known as Kinolainen, sometimes also referred to as Tossavainen, who used the Devil's Church for magical rituals.

"According to folklore, Kinolainen would take his patients to the 'church' to talk with the Devil about the causes and cures of their ailments. This kind of a healing ritual often included loud yelling, stomping, shooting and banging," Rainio says, summarizing traditional records.

Hytönen-Ng also interviewed and observed a modern-day practitioner of shamanism who uses the Devil's Church for rituals. According to the practitioner, there is a special energy in the cave, creating a strong connection to the surrounding nature and to one's own roots.

"The practitioner told in the interview that drumming sessions especially at the back of the cave have opened up 'new horizons.'"

According to Rainio, acoustic measurements conducted in the corridor-like, smooth-walled back of the cave show a strong resonance phenomenon. The phenomenon is caused by a standing wave between the smooth parallel walls, generating a tone at the natural frequency of the cave, 231 Hz, that stays audible for around one second after sharp impulses, such as clapping, drumming or loud bangs.

Tones vocalized in the cave near the 231 Hz frequency are amplified and lengthened by the cave.

"We recorded the shamanic practitioner and found that they repeatedly vocalized tones at 231 Hz, which were then amplified by the cave at its natural frequency."

https://phys.org/news/2023-11-witchcraft-devil-church-koli-based.html
 
Rocky resonances in Devil's Church.

The national park of Koli in eastern Finland is home to a famous, 34-meter-long crevice cave known as Pirunkirkko, or Devil's Church in English. In folklore, this crevice cave was known as a place where local sages would meet to contact the spirit world. Even today, the place is visited by practitioners of shamanism, who organize drumming sessions in the cave.

A new article in Open Archaeology by Riitta Rainio, a researcher of archaeology at the University of Helsinki, and Elina Hytönen-Ng, a researcher of cultural studies at the University of Eastern Finland, investigates the acoustics of the Devil's Church and explores whether the acoustic properties of the cave could explain the beliefs associated with it, and why it was chosen as a place for activities and rituals involving sound.

The researchers found that the Devil's Church houses a distinct resonance phenomenon that amplifies and lengthens sound at a specific frequency. This phenomenon may have significantly impacted the beliefs and experiences associated with the cave.

The researchers reviewed historical archives showing that several known sages and healers operated in the Koli area. The most famous of the sages was a man known as Kinolainen, sometimes also referred to as Tossavainen, who used the Devil's Church for magical rituals.

"According to folklore, Kinolainen would take his patients to the 'church' to talk with the Devil about the causes and cures of their ailments. This kind of a healing ritual often included loud yelling, stomping, shooting and banging," Rainio says, summarizing traditional records.

Hytönen-Ng also interviewed and observed a modern-day practitioner of shamanism who uses the Devil's Church for rituals. According to the practitioner, there is a special energy in the cave, creating a strong connection to the surrounding nature and to one's own roots.

"The practitioner told in the interview that drumming sessions especially at the back of the cave have opened up 'new horizons.'"

According to Rainio, acoustic measurements conducted in the corridor-like, smooth-walled back of the cave show a strong resonance phenomenon. The phenomenon is caused by a standing wave between the smooth parallel walls, generating a tone at the natural frequency of the cave, 231 Hz, that stays audible for around one second after sharp impulses, such as clapping, drumming or loud bangs.

Tones vocalized in the cave near the 231 Hz frequency are amplified and lengthened by the cave.

"We recorded the shamanic practitioner and found that they repeatedly vocalized tones at 231 Hz, which were then amplified by the cave at its natural frequency."

https://phys.org/news/2023-11-witchcraft-devil-church-koli-based.html
I would love to visit here.
 
Architecture and Sound: an Acoustic Analysis of Megalithic Monuments in Prehistoric Britain.
Abstract:

Prehistoric monuments in Britain are often dominant features in the landscape, and archaeological theory has tended to consider the visual and spatial influences of their architecture upon peoples’ movement and perception. The articulation of sound within these structures has not been widely discussed, despite evidence which suggests that many monuments provided settings for gatherings of people. This possibility was explored at two contrasting sites in Scotland, a recumbent stone circle and a passage grave, revealing that the elemental acoustic properties inherent in each may have literally orchestrated encounters with the stones.

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Source: Watson A, Keating D. Architecture and sound: an acoustic analysis of megalithic monuments in prehistoric Britain. Antiquity. 1999;73(280):325-336.
 

Attachments

  • Watson, A., & Keating, D. (1999). Architecture and sound an acoustic analysis of megalithic mo...pdf
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Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Tarxien Temples in Malta
Abstract:

The Tarxien Temples in Malta were analysed from an archaeoacoustic point of view. As there is no roof present, it was not possible to find the resonance properties of the various chambers. This investigation however, discovered an interesting low vibration originating from below the ground. The most likely explanation of its origin is due to the movement of underground water through geological faults. This vibration appears to be transmitted through the megaliths, some of which have concavities or carved holes. Previous archaeological interpretation, has suggested these were likely to have been used to support the foundations of some sort of barrier or door, but without any supporting evidence. Using archaeoacoustic methods a new interpretation of these architectonic particularities is put forward, acting as some type of forerunner to speakers.

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Some temples are totally submerged in the soil, similar to the more ancient site of Gobekli Tepe, Turkey.

Source: Paolo Debertolis, Nina Earl, Maja Zivić . Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Tarxien Temples in Malta, Journal of Anthropology and Archaeology, vol. 4 n.1, pp 7-27, 2016
 

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  • Paolo Debertolis, Nina Earl, Maja Zivić . Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Tarxien Temples in Malta...pdf
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Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Poggio Rota Stone Circle in Tuscany, Italy,
Abstract:
Poggio Rota Stone Circle was discovered in recent times (2004) by an Italian researcher Giovanni Feo, an Etruscan civilization expert. The studies conducted at the site, which also involved researchers from Italian universities assumed that the megaliths of Poggio Rota were built towards the middle of the third millennium BC by the Rinaldone civilization (4000-2000 BC). Poggio Rota Stone Circle is the only existing monument of this kind in Italy in good condition. Another the Little San Bernardo Cromlech, in Valle d'Aosta has completely collapsed. An archaeoacoustic approach similar to that used at other stone circles in Portugal was used. We tested this structure to see if any natural sound phenomena or resonance were present, because it is understood that some ancient structures have been specially modeled to influence the mind through the use of sound to create an altered state of consciousness. In previous researches we demonstrated that there is a relationship between mechanical vibrations and brain activity in some ancient temples. The resonance phenomena results of 91Hz obtained by the use of a round drum were of interest, because similar results were also found in Cividale del Friuli Hypogeum in North-Italy and at ancient temples in the UK and Ireland by other researchers. A strong radioactivity inside the stone circle dangerous for human health (until 1,77 μSv/h) was also discovered to be present.​

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Source: Natalia Tarabella & Others. Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Poggio Rota Stone Circle in Tuscany, Italy, Proc. 21th Int. Conference and Assembly of the Experts Foundation Romualdo. 2019
 

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  • Natalia Tarabella & Others. Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Poggio Rota Stone Circle in Tuscany, I...pdf
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Recent publication and excelnet reference material on the topic of Archaeoacuistics
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Linda Eneix . Megaliths, Music, and the Mind A Transdisciplinary Exploration of Archaeoacoustics, 2024
 
Archaeoacoustics Analysis and Ceremonial Customs in an Ancient Hypogeum
Abstract

The archeaoacoustic properties and the historical rituals of two ancient underground hypogea were compared. The first in Malta is more widely known and researched; the second in Italy has been studied by SB Research Group (SBRG) and presents some similarities to the Maltese hypogeum. The results show that archaeoacoustics is an interesting new method for reanalyzing ancient sites, and it uses different study parameters to re‐discover forgotten technology which operates on the human emotional sphere. The effect on the psyche of ancient people through the acoustic proprieties suggests that the builders of these sites had knowledge of this process and probably used it to enhance their rituals.
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Source: Paolo Debertolis, Niccolò Bisconti . Archaeoacoustics Analysis and Ceremonial Customs in an Ancient Hypogeum, Sociology Study, Vol.3 no.10, October 2013, pp. 803-814
 

Attachments

  • Paolo Debertolis, Niccolò Bisconti . Archaeoacoustics Analysis and Ceremonial Customs in an A...pdf
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Neolithic Stone Settlements as Locally Resonant Metasurfaces
Abstract:

We study the dynamic surface response of neolithic stone settlements obtained with seismic ambient noise techniques near the city of Carnac in French Brittany. Surprisingly, we find that menhirs (neolithic human size standing alone granite stones) with an aspect ratio between 1 and 2 periodically arranged atop a thin layer of sandy soil laid on a granite bedrock, exhibit fundamental resonances in the range of 10 to 25 Hz. We propose an analogic Kelvin-Voigt viscoelastic model that explains the origin of such low frequency resonances. We further explore low frequency filtering effect with full wave finite element simulations. Our numerical results confirm the bending nature of fundamental resonances of the menhirs and further suggest additional resonances of rotational and longitudinal nature in the frequency range 25 to 50 Hz. Our study thus paves the way for large scale seismic metasurfaces consisting of granite stones periodically arranged atop a thin layer of regolith over a bedrock, for ground vibration mitigation in earthquake engineering.

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Source: Stéphane Brûlé, Bogdan Ungureanu, Stefan Enoch, Sébastien GuenneauNeolithic stone settlements as locally resonant metasurfaces, 2022
 

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  • Stéphane Brûlé, Bogdan Ungureanu, Stefan Enoch, Sébastien GuenneauNeolithic stone settlements ...pdf
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Archaeoacoustic Analysis of a Dolmen on Mount Freddone, Italy.
Abstract:
Archaeoacoustic analysis provides a complementary method to understand archaeological sites as opposed to a stand alone methodology. Such analysis however, can provide useful
insights in cases where there is little or no historical documentation. In such cases, a medical anthropological approach can exploreany connection between the structure and the interaction with the human physiological can provide insight. This study of a Neolithic dolmen located on a peak in the Apuan Alps, Italy has no historical documentation. A medical anthropological approach was applied to the archaeoacoustic results and compared to a dolmen in Portugal. Subsurface vibrations, which have the effect of entraining the brain into a relaxed state, are present. Indeed, the large dolmen stones act like a transducer distributing strong infrasonic vibrations directly above and below the capstone. In the past this site covered a larger area than that found in the present day; on the opposite side of the mountain lie collapsed stones from another dolmen and a nearby quarry provides evidence of where the stones were mined. Both dolmens are orientated towards the equinox​
Debertolis, Paolo et al. “Archaeoacoustic analysis of a dolmen on Mount Freddone, Italy.” Proc...jpg

https://megalitismomediterraneo.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/8/3/21835976/freddone_archeoacustica.pdf

Source: Debertolis, Paolo et al. “Archaeoacoustic analysis of a dolmen on Mount Freddone, Italy.” Proceedings of The 6th International Virtual Conference on Advanced Scientific Results (2018)
 
Neolithic Monuments: Sensory Technology
Abstract:

An examination of Neolithic monuments across the British Isles reveals how they may function as sensory technologies and how the auditory effects generated by these structures can profoundly impact upon our perceptions and responses. To consider the auditory properties of a site we must actively produce sound to energise its acoustic qualities. This ‘active’ interaction prompts a broader consideration of our past and present relationship with Neolithic monuments. We suggest that these sites be re-imagined as reactive spaces, fuelled by the actions and thoughts of people within. As such, monuments are potentially vibrant and stillactive technologies that can transform perception and generate dynamic multisensory experiences.​
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Source: Was, J., & Watson, A. (2017). Neolithic monuments: sensory technology. Time and Mind, 10(1), 3–22.
 

Attachments

  • Was, J., & Watson, A. (2017). Neolithic monuments sensory technology. Time and Mind, 10(1), 3–22.pdf
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Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Tarxien Temples in Malta
Abstract:

The Tarxien Temples in Malta were analysed from an archaeoacoustic point of view. As there is no roof present, it was not possible to find the resonance properties of the various chambers. This investigation however, discovered an interesting low vibration originating from below the ground. The most likely explanation of its origin is due to the movement of underground water through geological faults. This vibration appears to be transmitted through the megaliths, some of which have concavities or carved holes. Previous archaeological interpretation, has suggested these were likely to have been used to support the foundations of some sort of barrier or door, but without any supporting evidence. Using archaeoacoustic methods a new interpretation of these architectonic particularities is put forward, acting as some type of forerunner to speakers.

View attachment 78132View attachment 78133
Some temples are totally submerged in the soil, similar to the more ancient site of Gobekli Tepe, Turkey.

Source: Paolo Debertolis, Nina Earl, Maja Zivić . Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Tarxien Temples in Malta, Journal of Anthropology and Archaeology, vol. 4 n.1, pp 7-27, 2016
I've visited both the Tarxian temples and the Hypogeum.
As they are only around 700 metres apart, could some of the Hypogeum's tunnels extend as far as Tarxian, thereby accounting for the underground vibrations detected?
I'm aware of the strange stories surrounding the Hypogeum and that the public may only visit the main chambers on authorised, accompanied tours. On the lowest level, on my guided tour heading towards the location dubbed the Oracle Chamber, I do recall seeing a pit entrance off to my left containing a ladder leading down into the darkness. So the full extent of the tunnels is clearly greater than the areas open to the public.
 
I've visited both the Tarxian temples and the Hypogeum.
As they are only around 700 metres apart, could some of the Hypogeum's tunnels extend as far as Tarxian, thereby accounting for the underground vibrations detected?
I'm aware of the strange stories surrounding the Hypogeum and that the public may only visit the main chambers on authorised, accompanied tours. On the lowest level, on my guided tour heading towards the location dubbed the Oracle Chamber, I do recall seeing a pit entrance off to my left containing a ladder leading down into the darkness. So the full extent of the tunnels is clearly greater than the areas open to the public.
Pythia was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She specifically served as its oracle and was known as the Oracle of Delphi. The name Pythia is derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi. Etymologically, the Greeks derived this place name from the verb πύθειν (púthein) 'to rot', which refers to the sickly sweet smell from the decomposing body of the monstrous Python after it was slain by Apollo.
Nevertheless, details of how the Pythia operated are scarce, One of the main stories claimed that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapours rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke gibberish which priests interpreted as the enigmatic prophecies and turned them into poetic dactylic.

When you mention the Oracle in the Hypogeum it brought to mind the memory of Delphi, in that case it is assumed that the state to prophesy was acquired by Pythoness due to the vapors that emanated from a cavity. In the case that you mention, this effect was probably produced by the vibrational frequencies of the construction itself, probably fed because that place was chosen to be built based on a particular terrestrial energy, like so many sacred places.​
 
There is still much to be investigated regarding the Archeoacoustics of sacred places in different cultures of the world. The vibrational frequencies linked to altered states of consciousness may be an indication that the builders were seeking in some way communication between the earthly and spiritual worlds. Sound media, gaseous emanations or burning sacred plants, hallucinogenic substances could induce or complement this act.
A concept to take into account in measurements is the exact harmonics or multipoles of the original vibration frequencies.​
 
Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Xaghra Hypogeum, Gozo, Malta
Abstract
Archaeoacoustics offers a new way to interpret anthropological questions pertaining to ancient architecture and populations. Studies conducted at a number of ancient sites throughout Europe and Asia, have found the presence of natural phenomena capable of influencing the human brain. Earlier studies show that ancient populations most likely through use of empirical methods chose the location of their ceremonial sites for this reason. In Xaghra Hypogeum a stone circle located on the island of Gozo, Malta, infrasounds and audible low frequencies capable of affecting the brain were discovered. The caves and surrounding stones act like a musical box amplifying the natural sounds present and it is possible the natural caves could have been modified to enhance this aspect. Similar natural characteristics were also discovered at other archaeological sites in Europe and Asia, including Epidauros in Greece and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. This is the third and final article on results of our researches in Malta e Gozo islands (Mediterranean Sea) from archaeoacoustic point of view.​

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https://arts.units.it/retrieve/e2913fdb-b640-f688-e053-3705fe0a67e0/Archaeoacoustic analysis of Xaghra Hypogeum - Gozo - Malta.pdf
Source: Paolo Debertolis, Nina Earl, Tarabella, Natalia . Archaeoacoustic Analysis of Xaghra Hypogeum, Gozo, Malta, Journal of Anthropology and Archaeology, vol. 5 n.1, pp.1-15, June 2017
 
Early Ringing Stones in Scandinavia, Finds and Traditions
Overview:

There is much information from all over the world on certain rocks, stone blocks and stone slabs, multiple or single, as having been used as percussion instruments because of their metallic or ringing sound when struck. There is no agreed terminology for such percussion instruments. In this paper I will use “ringing stones” as an overall term. The paper will deal with questions and problems regarding traditional ringing stones in Scandinavia, albeit with focus on Sweden. It will also constitute a preliminary part of a planned multidisciplinary collaboration project dealing with ringing stones in Sweden and Norway, initiated by my colleague Gjermund Kolltveit, Oslo and myself. In these countries, as in Scandinavia on the whole, traditional ringing stones are relatively unknown as a phenomenon to the general public, scholars, musicians, schools and children. One aim of the project is therefore to make known and bring to life for children as well as adults, scientists as well as laymen, ringing stones in Scandinavia on the basis of a documentation of them in sound, words and images. The project thus involves both research and mediation. Hopefully the present paper can also give a stimulus to systematic inventory, documentation and intensive studies in traditional ringing stones in other countries in Europe.
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Figure 8. Ringing stone at Håga, near Uppsala, Sweden, found in a Bronze-age cultic house. This stone was probably a part of the wall. Width 170 cm, height 60 cm. Drawing: Svante Fischer. (After Sandberg 2001,22.)
Note the cup-marks -like holes

Source: Cajsa S. Lund . Early Ringing Stones in Scandinavia –Finds and Traditions, Questions and Problems, Studia Instrumentorum Musicae Popularis I, 2009
 

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Archaeoacoustic Investigation of a Prehistoric Cave Site: Frequency-Dependent Sound Amplification and Potential Relevance for Neurotheology. .
Abstract:

An archaeoacoustic study was recently conducted within the prehistoric cave system of El Castillo in northern Spain. With findings dating back at least 40800 years, archaeological studies of this cave have revealed the presence of prehistoric ritual activity associated with early shamanism. Simulated audio tones of varying frequencies were created and emitted from the location at which it is thought the shamans would conduct rituals within El Castillo, while the sound was simultaneously recorded from the likely location of potential observers or participants. Subsequent analysis identified a frequency-dependent amplification of recorded sound intensity for frequencies approaching the range of 100 Hz, with the greatest effect observed for 108 and 110 Hz. These results are markedly consistent with previous research of important or sacred sites which have shown significant sonic resonance features within this precise range of frequencies. Additional consideration is applied to the potential effects of 110 Hz physical stimuli on biological systems in the context of neurotheology and the associated biophysical analyses in order to demonstrate the potential importance of 110 Hz signals on religious experience and subjective states of consciousness.​
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Source: Gaona, J. M., Rouleau, N., Caswell, J. M., Tessaro, L. W. E., Burke, R. C., & Schumacher, D. S. (2014). Archaeoacoustic Investigation of a Prehistoric Cave Site: Frequency-Dependent Sound Amplification and Potential Relevance for Neurotheology. NeuroQuantology, 12(4), pp.455-463
 

Attachments

  • Gaona, J. M., & Others (2014). Archaeoacoustic Investigation of a Prehistoric Cave Site, Frequ...pdf
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Acoustic Measurements and Digital Image Processing Suggest a Link Between Sound Rituals and Sacred Sites in Northern Finland.
Abstract:

In northern Finland, near the canyon lakes of Julma-Ölkky, Somerjärvi, and Rotkojärvi, steep rock cliffs produce distinctive acoustic spaces. On these cliffs, prehistoric rock paintings (5200 to 1000 BC) as well as an ancient Sámi offering site (circa 1100 to present) can be found. Ethnographic sources describe that the Sámi used to sing and listen to echoes while making offerings there. This article presents the results of an archaeoacoustic research project that seeks to explore the role of sound in the development and use of these archaeological sites. The innovative set of methods includes multichannel impulse response recording, angle-of-arrival estimation of early reflections, spectrum analysis, digital image processing, and 3D laser scanning. On the basis of the analyses, it is concluded that the cliffs that have been painted or held as sacred are efficient sound reflectors. They create discrete echoes and, accordingly, phantom sound sources. Especially at the Värikallio cliff near Lake Somerjärvi, the sound appears to emanate directly from the painted figures. These results, together with previously unnoticed drumming figures in the Värikallio painting, provide a clue to the significance of the sound rituals at these sacred sites.
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Source: Rainio, R., Lahelma, A., Äikäs, T. et al. Acoustic Measurements and Digital Image Processing Suggest a Link Between Sound Rituals and Sacred Sites in Northern Finland. J Archaeol Method Theory 25, 453–474 (2018).
 

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  • Rainio, R.,(2017). Acoustic Measurements and Digital Image Processing Suggest a Link Between S...pdf
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The Sound of Rock Art. The Acoustics of the Rock Art of Southern Andalusia (Spain)
Abstract:

This paper explores the potential of acoustics to interpret the prehistoric rock art of southern Andalusia (Spain). Tests undertaken in two areas, north of the Celemín river and the Bacinete area, will form the basis of our discussion. The results obtained at a selection of rock art sites show that the two key rock art sites, El Tajo de las Figuras and the large shelter at Bacinete, both with the majority of paintings in the earlier Laguna de la Janda style, had good resonance values. In contrast, at most of the other minor sites tested, the values for resonance were negative or insignificant, regardless of whether they were painted in Laguna de la Janda or schematic style. We conclude that the major rock art sites in southern Andalusia were chosen not only for their geological appearance and location in the landscape, but also for their
acoustic properties.​

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Source: Díaz-Andreu, M., García Benito, C., & Lazarich, M. (2014). The Sound of Rock Art. The Acoustics of the Rock Art of Southern Andalusia (Spain). Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 33(1), 1–18.
 

Attachments

  • Díaz-Andreu, M., García Benito, C., & Lazarich, M. (2014). The Sound of Rock Art. The Acoustic...pdf
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Recreating the Sound of Stonehenge
Abstract:

Stonehenge is the largest and most complex ancient stone circle known to mankind. In its original form, the concentric shape of stone rings would have surrounded an individual, both visually and aurally. It is an outdoor space and most archaeological evidence suggests it did not have a roof. However, its large, semi-enclosed structure, with many reflecting surfaces, would have reflected and diffracted sound within the space creating an unusual acoustic field for the Neolithic Man. The work presented here reports the reconstruction of the acoustic sound field of Stonehenge based on measurements taken at a full size replica in Maryhill, USA. Acoustic measurements were carried out using state-of-the-art techniques and the response collected in both mono and B-Format at various source-receiver positions within the space. A brief overview of Energy Time Curves and Reverberation Time together with a comparison to a recent measurement in the current Stonehenge site is provided. The auralisation process presented uses a hybrid Ambisonic and Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) system. In the electro-acoustic rendering system, sound sources are created as focussed sources using Wave Field Synthesis whilst their reverberant counterpart is rendered using Ambisonic principles. Using this novel approach, a realistic acoustic sound field, as it is believed to have existed in the original Stonehenge monument, can be experienced by listeners. The approach presented, not only provides a valuable insight into the acoustic response of an important archaeological site but also demonstrates the development of a useful tool in the archaeological interpretation of important buildings and heritage sites​
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Source: Fazenda, B., & Drumm, I. (2013). Recreating the Sound of Stonehenge. Acta Acustica United with Acustica, 99(1), 110–117.
 

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  • Fazenda, B., & Drumm, I. (2013). Recreating the Sound of Stonehenge. Acta Acustica United with...pdf
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Cave acoustics in Prehistory Exploring the Association of Palaeolithic Visual Motifs and Acoustic Response.
Abstract:

During the 1980 s, acoustic studies of Upper Palaeolithic imagery in French caves—using the technology then available—suggested a relationship between acoustic response and the location of visual motifs. This paper presents an investigation, using modern acoustic measurement techniques, into such relationships within the caves of La Garma, Las Chimeneas, La Pasiega, El Castillo, and Tito Bustillo in Northern Spain. It addresses methodological issues concerning acoustic measurement at enclosed archaeological sites and outlines a general framework for extraction of acoustic features that may be used to support archaeological hypotheses. The analysis explores possible associations between the position of visual motifs (which may be up to 40 000 yrs old) and localized acoustic responses. Results suggest that motifs, in general, and lines and dots, in particular, are statistically more likely to be found in places where reverberation is moderate and where the low frequency acoustic response has evidence of resonant behavior. The work presented suggests that an association of the location of Palaeolithic motifs with acoustic features is a statistically weak but tenable hypothesis, and that an appreciation of sound could have influenced behavior among Palaeolithic societies of this region.
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Source: Fazenda, B., Scarre, C., Till, R., Pasalodos, R. J., Guerra, M. R., Tejedor, C., Foulds, F. (2017). Cave acoustics in prehistory: Exploring the association of Palaeolithic visual motifs and acoustic response. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 142(3), 1332–1349.
 

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The Acoustics of Archaeological Architecture in the Near Eastern Neolithic.
Abstract:

The analysis of acoustics in prehistoric architecture has generally been limited to extant structures, using experimental techniques to physically measure the acoustic properties of the space. These methodologies are not applicable in many prehistoric contexts though, as the structures are rarely preserved higher than the foundations. Using digital reconstructions of the spaces, it is possible to calculate the reverberation time as well as the proxemics, and deduce what type of event could have been accommodated. This methodology has been applied to a series of enigmatic structures at Near Eastern Neolithic sites, where archaeologists believe group gatherings may have occurred, to determine whether speech would have been comprehen​
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Source: McBride, Alexis. “The Acoustics of Archaeological Architecture in the Near Eastern Neolithic.” World Archaeology, vol. 46, no. 3, 2014, pp. 349–61
 

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Archaeoacoustic Investigation of Sacred & Worship Places,
Abstract:

Archaeoacoustics, a new interdisciplinary branch of science has the potential to uncover the behavior of sound at sacred places. It is the combination of Architecture and Acoustics, aimed to study Sound and its perception at various sacred and worship places. Musical instruments have been found at various places of different period. Auditory cortex of human produces greatest response to frequency range 400-4000 Hz. Echoes and Resonances are the most prominent phenomena related to sound at various sacred & worship places. At any such place source of sound is either manmade or natural. Different shapes, geometry and size of sacred places invariantly effects sound and its propagation, its various parameters.​
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Source: Ajinkya S. Umbarkar & Others . Archaeoacoustic Investigation of Sacred & Worship Places, Wespac National Physical Laboratory , 2018
 

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Archaeology, Rock Art, Archaeoacoustics and Neuroscience, What Kind of Relation?
Abstract:

Archeology hás. therefore. an anthropological dimension and the initial studies of the material heritage can constitute a source to cliscover the immaterial heritage of past societies. In order to ftilfil that aim. the present article presents a multidisciplinaiy approach based on data availabie from archeology. rock ait. archeoacoustics and neuroscience. From these four disciplines, archeoacoustics and neuroscience are obviously less familiar at a congress of archeology. Thus. it is necessaiy to make some statements about them.
Archeoacoustics can be considered as an interdisciplinary field of smdy. which tries to analyse the use of souiid(s) in past societies. combining archeological data with mocleni acoustic enguieering.Despite some methodological problems regarding the detenmnation of cleliberate actions by prehistoric human beings. as C. Scarre (2006: 9) saicl. "the archeoacoustics of prehistoric contexts is potentially a vital part of the understanding of the livecl experience of past societies.'
Neuroscience will be mentioned m this article íbllowing some pilot studies based on data resulting from expenments involving sound in prehistoric and protohisíoric chambers in the UK and Italy1 and their effects on the human brain. monitorecl with electroencephalography.​

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Source: Fernando Coimbra, Archaeology, Rock Art, Archaeoacoustics and Neuroscience, What kind of Relation, Proceedings of the XVII UISPP World Congress, 2014, pp.121-131
 

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Acoustic and Aural Research at Timber and Stone Circles
Abstract:

This paper gives an overview of acoustic measurements made at two timber circles in Central Germany and one stone circle in Ireland. Furthermore, other researchers' results from an Austrian timber circle have been evaluated. Personal experiences have also been recorded and evaluated. Most unusual experiences in timber circles can be explained by acoustic theory. Still, not all aural interpretations are cultural: this makes it difficult to determine the former aural usage of many prehistoric monuments. Aural experiences are vital in present-day society for pleasure and religious reasons - just as they would likely have been for prehistoric people. The authors recommend utilising the acoustic properties of timber and stone monuments in future performances to enable a better understanding of their acoustic and aural impact.​

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Source: Victor Reijs & Others . Acoustic and Aural Research at Timber and Stone Circles, 2017
 

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