Author Topic: Rock Art Acoustics and Archaeoacoustics  (Read 14031 times)

electrobleme

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Rock Art Acoustics and Archaeoacoustics
« on: February 21, 2012, 16:18:27 »


Rock Art Acoustics and Archaeoacoustics

Steven Waller has explained his ideas, theories and experiment results on Stonehenge and its Archaeoacoustics.

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Steven J. Waller's Rock Art Acoustics site

SYNOPSIS: Were echoes the inspiration for cave paintings? This web page describes my scientifically testable theory about prehistoric art correlating with echoing locations, suggesting sound as a motivation for cave paintings and petroglyphs. The cultural significance of echoes is shown by myths that attribute echoes to spirits.

An implication of this research is the previously unrecognized need for the conservation of the natural acoustical properties of the environment around rock art sites.
Rock Art Acoustics | sites.google.com

electrobleme

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Archaeoacoustics and Malta's Hypogeum "Oracle Room"
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 13:04:51 »

Archaeoacoustics and Malta's Hypogeum "Oracle Room"

I purchased the Archaeoacoustics monograph book by Chris Scarre and Graeme Lawson as the subject of Archaeoacoustics fits in with things discussed about ancient structures around the world and perhaps especially on Malta.


Archaeoacoustics and Malta's Hypogeum sound


The Hypogeum is an underground structure or an underground Temple as they like to tell us. Its sound properties are semi famous as it has its Oracle chamber room where sounds put into the Oracle niche reverberate around the Hypogeum.


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The Oracle Room

The Oracle Room is roughly rectangular and one of the smallest side chambers has the peculiarity of producing a powerful acoustic resonance from any vocalization made inside it. This room has an elaborately painted ceiling, consisting of spirals in red ochre with circular blobs.
Hypogeum of ?al-Saflieni | wikipedia.org



The whole Hypogeum appears to be set up for sound because when you go round on the tour and make noises, tones or clang on the metal hand rails the noises are fantastic.

Some music artists have been lucky enough to record in the Hypogeum due to its sound qualities.

The first page I opened of the Archaeoacoustics book the article sub title and subject was this ...

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Red dots in Palaeolithic caves

Among the clearly non-figurative signs often found in prehistoric painted caves are red dots or marks, made of ochre or sometimes of haematite ... For example in a long narrow tunnel where one has to crawl, one may find an isolated red dot appearing suddenly on the roof or side wall ... remarkable relationship between such dots and the sound qualities of their locations.

As a general rule, the red dots or marks are related closely to the resonance of the part of the cave where they are located.

quote from Archaeoacoustics monograph book by Chris Scarre and Graeme Lawson



Archaeoacoustics and Malta's Hypogeum "Oracle Room"

Then the next section was this ...

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Small decorated niches and recesses in Palaeolithic caves

But if the evidence of the red dots proves Palaeolithic people's awareness of resonance, one should expect there to be some more evidence of this. And indeed such dots or marks are also found inside or in the immediate neighbourhood of niches or small recesses.

These recesses are too small to have a distinct point of maximal resonance; actually; the whole recess may resonate.

As a general rule, niche or recesses that are painted (with red dots, some marks or pictures) resonate strongly. This rule applies also to niches, in the immediate vicinity or just in front of which such decorations are found.

quote from Archaeoacoustics monograph book by Chris Scarre and Graeme Lawson


Archaeoacoustics and Malta's Hypogeum Oracle Room - niches decorated with red dots and patterns

« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 13:06:34 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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Oracle Chamber room (Hypogeum Malta) - sounds and archaeoacoustics
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 13:27:33 »
Oracle Chamber room (Hypogeum Malta) - sounds and archaeoacoustics


Hypogeum Malta Oracle Chamber room - sounds and archaeoacoustics

Found this! My mate and I were going to do a sound version of this. The sound experiment was going to be carried out using special tuning forks at ranges of human brain and emotion frequencies. With a very sophisticated sound and frequency measuring device to analyse them.


hal saflieni hypogeum archaeoacoustics - sounds and archaeoacoustics

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"A word spoken in this room is magnified a hundredfold and is audible throughout the entire structure.  The effect upon the credulous can be imagined when the oracle spoke and the words came thundering forth through the dark and mysterious place with terrifying impressiveness."

Dark stains on the rim of the niche testify to the resting of many hands in a natural pose as one’s face is aimed toward the painted red lozenges on the wall within. Could these be target spots for achieving the best sound effects?  Nearby, at the closed end of the chamber, a distinctive curved channel has been cut at the top of the concave wall.  Was this designed to enhance the amplification?  Is it possible that the designers of these spaces knew something that modern scientists are just rediscovering?  What is this strange giant sculpture?
Archaeoacoustics | otsf.org


hal saflieni hypogeum archaeoacoustics - the niche in the Oracle Room





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ARCHAEOACOUSTICS - PRELIMINARY PROJECT DESCRIPTION

1) examine what happens in the human brain in an environment of naturally produced sound in the frequency range that produces resonant standing waves in subterranean stone chambers, and

2) shed light on the influence of sound behavior in the design development, on the Mediterranean islands of Malta, of the world’s first monumental architecture.

Preliminary research in the field of Archeoacoustics has shown that Newgrange and other ancient stone chambers resonate within a narrow range of sound wave frequency between 90 and 120 hz. According to a laboratory study, exposure to a tone within this frequency, particularly at 110-111 hz seems to create a shift of brain function, "turning on" an area of the brain that bio-behavioral scientists believe relates to mood, empathy and social behavior.
   
Malta's subterranean Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum, architecturally intact after five thousand years, is known to have eerie sound effects.  This site's architectural features not only mirror the above-ground megalithic temples, but also imply a primitive understanding of acoustic behavior.  A room in the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum known popularly as “the Oracle Chamber” has been show to have its strongest resonance at 110 hz.  Could this natural bio-behavioral phenomenon lend weight to the theory that the development of monumental architecture may actually have been prompted by a desire to manipulate sound effects in a ritual context? Can such remote antiquity have new relevance for modern behavior studies?

Laboratory testing will be undertaken at the University of Malta to augment the findings of the previous brain function study.  

The ultimate desire of the team is to outfit a number of volunteers of various ages with portable equipment, including EEG, blood pressure and skin temperature measurement devices.  We would collect a series of EEG scans of healthy brain activity and other biofeedback while on site in the Hal-Saflieni Hypogeum with exposure to voice at a range of sound frequencies that includes 110 or 111 Hz  for a duration of approximately 5 minutes.

A music expert would direct the generation of sound from a male baritone in extended vocalizing.  A natural shell horn may also be tested, based on personal accounts of previous highly unusual sound generation by this means in the Hypogeum.  A sound engineer would monitor and confirm the frequency levels electronically.  An architect would evaluate the acoustic physicality of the space.

All input would be coordinated and documented for study and analysis by specialists in neurology and biofeedback.   The on-site readings would be monitored, coordinated and studied using technical signal analysis tools to determine any physical effect of exposure in actual conditions that were possible in prehistory, and if the replication of such effect might have a modern therapeutic application.
ARCHAEOACOUSTICS - PRELIMINARY PROJECT DESCRIPTION | ancientmed.org
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 14:04:00 by electrobleme »

electrobleme

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El Castillo Spain, Red Dots Cave Art and Archaeoacoustics
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 14:34:51 »

El Castillo Spain, Red Dots Cave Art and Archaeoacoustics

El Castillo Spain cave and its Red Dots are they the Europes oldest Cave Art or Archaeoacoustic markers as discussed above?


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We find one of these to date older than 37,300 years on 'The Panel of Hands', and very nearby there is a red disc made by a very similar technique that dates to older than 40,800 years.
Red dot becomes 'oldest cave art' | bbc.co.uk

El Castillo Spain - Corredor de los Puntos (The Corridor of Points)
The Corredor de los Puntos (The Corridor of Points) in the El Castillo Cave in Spain may be an acoustic area and the red dots found their may mark the nodes or anti nodes for sound waves in the Corridor.