ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

A research is being undertaken to unravel the acoustic response of Stonehenge, which is the largest and most complex ancient stone circle known to mankind. Perhaps the first time acoustic effects at Stonehenge were noticed was during its first phase of construction which corresponds to the bank and ditch and the 56 Aubrey holes which are now believed to have held blue stones in them. The evidence is that a large diameter stone ring does present a discernible echo, particularly from the centre of the circle where reflections from each stone are focused. The less regular shape of stones at Stonehenge is likely to provide more scattering at midfrequencies where the irregularities correspond to wavelengths smaller than about 30cm. Clearly the acoustic response measured within the original Stonehenge is very short. The ETC shows a few early reflections within 20ms, which after simple calculations can be associated with the floor, toppled stones very near to the microphone position and the first set of standing stones in the inner circles.
... Further study by the author [35,36] analysed the acoustics present in the final arrangement of the original complete monument, pointing out low frequency resonances, echoes, and reverberation. Field studies by the author with the acoustics researcher Bruno Fazenda [37,38], analysed the Maryhill Monument, a full-size concrete Stonehenge model in the United States, which has an approximately similar design. That research identified higher reverberation than in the remaining monument, and a powerful low frequency resonance at 47-48 Hz; similar low frequency modal effects are discussed further below. ...
... The small amount of reverberation and echo present is something that was described long ago by Thomas Hardy in his novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles [39]. Fazenda confirmed the presence of weak echoes and a small amount of reverberation in a further study [37]. It focused on ISO standard approaches, and did not discuss in detail low frequency reverberation time (although this is reported in a table), nor did it discuss the differences between results from different source positions or phases of the monument. ...
... The acoustics of the later (final) modelled arrangement of the site, Stonehenge C, dated c.2200 BC, has been examined in earlier publications by this author and Fazenda [35][36][37][38]. Those papers used various theoretical approaches to explore the acoustics of the site, as well as acoustic field tests at a full-size concrete replica that has a design based on Stonehenge, the Maryhill Monument in Washington State, USA. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the acoustics of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: five caves in Spain that feature prehistoric paintings that are up to 40,000 years old; Stonehenge stone circle in England, which is over 4000 years old; and Paphos Theatre in Cyprus, which is 2000 years old. Issues with standard acoustic methods are discussed, and a range of different possible approaches are explored for sound archaeology studies, also known as archaeoacoustics. The context of the three sites are examined followed by an analysis of their acoustic properties. Firstly, early decay time is explored, including a comparison of these sites to contemporary concert halls. Subsequently, reverberation, clarity of speech, and bass response are examined. Results show that the caves have a wide range of different naturally occurring acoustics, including reverberation, and strong bass effects. Stonehenge has acoustics that change as the design of the site develops, with some similarities to the effects in the caves. Acoustic effects vary considerably as you move further into the centre of the stone circle, and as the stone circle develops through time; these effects would be noticeable, and are a by-product of the human building of ritual sites. At Paphos Theatre, acoustics vary from the best seats on the front rows, backwards; here, the architects have considered acoustics in the design of the building. The paper illustrates the changing acoustics of ritual sites in human cultures, showing how sound contributed to giving spaces an individual character, helping to afford a sense of contextualized ritual place.
... More recent studies by Fazenda et al [10] [11] have implemented the methodology proposed in [3] to the study of reflections at the existent ruins of Stonehenge as well as the complete, full-size replica built at Maryhill. USA. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Low-frequency acoustic effects have been well documented in archaeological studies for nearly two decades. However, to date, specialist acoustic input into the field of archaeoacoustics has been in the minority of research effort put into this emerging branch of scientific study. This project aims to investigate the initial findings regarding low-frequency responses of chambered Neolithic tombs as reported by Devereux et al[1] carrying out a computer simulation study of a case study monument through the application of a Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method. The open source acoustic simulation package WaveCloud served as the basis for the simulations. An emulation of the physical soundfield within a reference room has been undertaken to validate the implementation proposed herein. Implementation shortcomings and improvements have been addressed, which informed the case study site study. Despite a degree of space-time accuracies and subsequent validation requirements, partial success in simulating the acoustic properties of the site was achieved. A tentative analysis of the correlation of the identified resonant peaks and subjective perception threshold of changes in low frequencies as proposed by Avis et al. has also been carried out.
... Most acoustic studies in archaeology focus on analysing caves (Dams, 1984;Devereux, 2001;Díaz-Andreu & Mattioli, 2016;Till, 2014), and megalithic structures (cf. Devereux & Jahn, 1996;Fazenda, 2013;Till, 2011;Watson & Keating, 1999), as well as some monumental buildings (cf. Beristain, Coss, Aquino, & Negrete, 2002;Bilsen, 2006;Lubman, 1998Lubman, , 2002. ...
Article
Full-text available
Contiones – assemblies during which important Roman politicians discussed the laws proposed at the People’s Assemblies as well as candidates for the offices and presented their opinions to the Roman people – are considered by some scholars as one of the central institutions and rituals of the Roman Republic. Considering the role contiones played in the political life of the Roman Republic, we can ask how many Romans participated in them. In our paper we present results of acoustic analyses of two places at the Forum Romanum that we know were platforms for speakers at contiones : the Rostra and the podium of the Temple of Castores. The main goal of our study was to establish the maximum number of participants that could have heard speeches inteligibly. To do that we used a 3D model of Forum Romanum considering not only the geometry but also the acoustic parameters of materials used to construct the rostra and adjacent constructions. Based on the sound power level of a speaker and possible noise sources, on which the recipients were exposed to, we established areas where speeches could have been heard and understood. This in turn allowed us to estimate the maximum number of recipients.
... Tiek šis 1893 m. rinkinys, tiek "Aušros" kalendorius 1886 metams, skenuota for- ma yra pasiekiami virtualioje elektroninio paveldo sistemoje epaveldas.lt, prieinamoje per internetą 26 . 1893 m. rinkinį Lietuviszkos dainos isz visur surinktos, saugomą Niujorko viešojoje bibliotekoje, taip pat suskaitmenino interneto industrijos gigantė -Google tarptautinė korporacija, o suskaitme- ninta forma knyga yra prieinama per internetu pasiekiamą Hathi Trust Di- gital Library 27 . ...
Article
Full-text available
[straipsnis ir santrauka lietuvių kalba; santrauka anglų kalba] Straipsnyje kaip poezijos kūrinys ir istorinis šaltinis publikuojamas Aleksandro Burbos 1881 m. parašyto eilėraščio „Senybinis aukuras“ tekstas, atskleidžiama jo modernaus lietuviško patriotizmo esmė. Daroma išvada, kad šis eilėraštis, pirmą kartą paskelbtas 1885 m., yra svarbus istoriniam pažinimui kaip pirminis istorijos šaltinis, o žanrine prasme jis gali būti laikomas literatūrine balade, tipologiškai priskirtina nacionalinės baladės tipui. Atkreipiamas dėmesys ir į 1893 m. paskelbtą naujos redakcijos eilėraščio versiją, kuri buvo šiek tiek išplėsta atsižvelgus į pakitusias laikotarpio sąlygas, sociopolitines permainas ir jų asmeninę refleksiją pereinant nuo aušrininkų prie varpininkų etapo. Aptariamas A. Burbos poetinėse eilėse išaukštintas „senybinis aukuras“ yra išlikęs iki mūsų dienų – dabartiniame Ignalinos rajone, prie Antakmenės (Untakminio) kaimo kapinių. Jis yra paskelbtas archeologiniu paminklu ir valstybės saugomu geologiniu gamtos paveldo objektu. Siūloma jį toliau propaguoti pažintinio turizmo tikslais, susiejant su Aleksandro Burbos poetinio kūrinio prasmėmis, kurios straipsnyje nagrinėjamos įvairiais aspektais.
... These include cave paintings (parietal art), a) Electronic mail: B.M.Fazenda@salford.ac.uk the production of bone aerophones, and portable items of mobiliary art, including both human and animal figures and occasional theriomorphs (Clottes et al., 1995;Conard et al., 2009;Morley, 2013). Considerable evidence exists for the significance of organized sound in prehistory (Megaw, 1968;Scarre and Lawson, 2006;Till, 2009;Fazenda, 2013;Wyatt, 2009;Morley, 2013) and previous researchers have suggested links between painted caves and sound or music making (Reznikoff and Dauvois, 1988;Waller, 1993b). ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... These include cave paintings (parietal art), a) Electronic mail: B.M.Fazenda@salford.ac.uk the production of bone aerophones, and portable items of mobiliary art, including both human and animal figures and occasional theriomorphs (Clottes et al., 1995;Conard et al., 2009;Morley, 2013). Considerable evidence exists for the significance of organized sound in prehistory (Megaw, 1968;Scarre and Lawson, 2006;Till, 2009;Fazenda, 2013;Wyatt, 2009;Morley, 2013) and previous researchers have suggested links between painted caves and sound or music making (Reznikoff and Dauvois, 1988;Waller, 1993b). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous archaeoacoustics work published from the 1980s to the 2000s has suggested that the location of palaeolithic paintings in French caves, such as Le Portel, Niaux, Isturitz, and Arcy-sur-Cureis, are associated with the acoustic response of those locations, particularly with strong low frequency resonances. Recent work done in caves in the Asturian and Cantabrian regions of Northern Spain has shown some evidence of statistical association between paintings dated from the Aurignacian/Gravettian period (cf. 42,000-25,000 BP) and the existence of acoustic responses which exhibit resonant artifacts. The work presented in this paper reports on a further analysis of the data that explores the association in more detail. A number of metrics focused specifically on low frequency response are used as factors to form statistical models that explain the position of paintings within the caves studied. The results of this study further our understanding on how perception of acoustic response might have played a part in modulating the expressive behavior of our ancestors.
Article
Full-text available
The particular problems of small-scale models, namely air absorption and transducers, are discussed and it is found that with a dehumidified atmosphere (2–3 per cent relative humidity) and currently available transducers the measurement of reverberation time, as well as impulsive type measurements such as early to late energy ratio and early decay time, is possible at a scale of 1:50. The upper frequency limit for reverberation time is the 2 kHz octave equivalent and the 1 kHz octave for impulse measurements. Comparable measurements made in an auditorium and its 1:50 scale model showed good agreement. Some results of measurements in a model theatre and concert hall are also reported. It is concluded that 1:50 scale acoustic models enable one to measure quantities which cannot be calculated from drawings and offer a valuable aid for the development and confirmation of an auditorium design.