Long echoes in Stonehenge

   “The wind is blowing on a huge building, buzzing like a single-string harp. No other sounds can be heard … the huge beams connecting the two stone pillars are pressed overhead, making the dark sky even more It was dark. They carefully entered through the middle of the two pillars and under the beams; the sound of rustling as they walked echoed from the surface of the stone, as if they were still outside the door … ”
   This description of” Temple of the Wind “comes from Britain The climax of novelist Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’erber House. The story takes place in the most famous prehistoric Stonehenge. The great writer Thomas Hardy must have a unique sense of hearing about Stonehenge, which may be one of the intentions of prehistoric ancestors to build Stonehenge.
   They may be more concerned about the listening experience
   Stonehenge stone ring known as Salisbury, cromlech, Temple of the Sun, prehistoric stone table, stone fence Stonehenge, Stonehenge stone circle, is Europe’s leading prehistoric culture god Temple ruins on the Salisbury Plain in southern England. These upright boulders form a circle and are faintly visible from a few kilometers away, and the scene is very spectacular. At the summer solstice, the dike at the edge of the boulder is parallel to the rays of the rising sun and presents charming colors under the sun. It is difficult to find ancient ruins that have more visual impact than it.
   Some scholars believe that in the design of the ancients, considering the acoustic factors, many deliberate works were built. Stonehenge may be one of the representative works. These acoustical structures left by the ancients test the wisdom and understanding of future generations. Then a new discipline, sound archeology, arose. Archeologists speculate that sound effects were an important factor in the choice and construction of homes and religious sites by early humans. The humming caves, the creaking Mayan temple, and the humming tombs all confirm one thing: not only vision but also hearing plays a decisive role in past architectural codes. But is this statement scientific?
   Archeology from a sound perspective is quite difficult. Because pottery shards, coins, bones, and tiles can remain for centuries, waiting to be analyzed and interpreted. In contrast, how do ancient sounds that are fleeting in sound survive? Looking back at prehistoric history, we can’t even understand what our ancestors were thinking, let alone what they were listening to.
   However, archaeologists who advocate for “sound archeology” believe that sound is of great significance to our ancestors, perhaps more than it affects modern people. As British archeologist Paul DeFroy said, “Now we create great music and make a lot of noise.” In contrast, our ancestors lived in “a world much quieter than it is now, probably Pay more attention to the auditory experience. “Without artificial lighting, listening attentively is crucial to preventing natural enemies at night. In addition, before the era of writing, information was mainly transmitted orally. Therefore, prehistoric humans may pay more attention to listening enjoyment when designing buildings.
   Ancient people like to use nature sounds manufacture
   researchers also found that, like the ancient human use of natural sound manufacturing. In 2009, three flutes were found in a cave in southwestern Germany. The best-preserved part is made from the wings of a bald eagle and contains five finger holes, which pushed the origin of music forward to the middle of the Paleolithic period about 40,000 years ago.
   Later, people found vocal stones-slate and gongs-all over the world. They sound pleasant when they strike. In a cave in the south of France, there is a stone 2 meters high, which makes a sound like a gong when hit. When exposed from the granite, the exposed layer of coarse-grained basalt boulders on the Kapugal Hills in Karnataka, southern India, produced a loud ringing sound. According to neolithic rock art, this vocal boulder has been used for thousands of years.
   Such as cave paintings and etchings also provide clues to how prehistoric humans used nature to make sounds. When Igor Raznikov of the University of Nanterre in France surveyed the Huffinek caves in the south of France, he found that standing at the location of the murals in the cave, you can hear the most beautiful sound effects. In his book “Sound Traces of the Stone Age”, Devereux quoted rock carvings and hieroglyphic ruins from around the world, including works of art painted on concave stone walls that can form different echoes.
   Amplified sound
   in spite of such monuments in the world number of them, however, archaeologists systematic analysis of their still very small. Some experts believe that acoustic archeology is at the level of traditional archeology more than a century ago. “Proves that we care about their ancestors aural environment is one thing, but to prove that they are under consideration of acoustic elements of building design is another matter.”
   1990s, Devereux and colleagues studied Based on the sound effects of the six ancient tombs from 3500 BC to 400 BC, it was found that their echo frequency was between 95 and 120 Hz, which is a frequency range of male voices. They also discovered a wonderful listening experience. When sounding at the appropriate frequency, loud sounds can be heard in one place of the ruins, and almost no sound can be heard in another place. Devereux doesn’t think this is a coincidence: the ancient architects sought to maximize the auditory effect from the beginning. The tomb has stone chambers and movable stones. Architects can adjust the stone chambers by moving the stones to optimize the sound of religious rituals.
   This theory is wonderful, but not everyone believes it. Matthew White, an acoustics researcher at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, has expressed opposition. “If you think the ancient tomb was designed for chanting, then you must agree that my bathroom was designed for singing.”
   And Tier believes that this criticism ignores the differences between ancient and modern architecture. , Underestimates the thinking that ancient architects put into design. He and Devereux acknowledged that the acoustic intent in the design of the tomb was far from confirmed and difficult to verify. Tier proposed that if this design method has been tested in practice and confirmed to be a development process, it is necessary to start from ancient tombs of different ages and conduct repeated demonstrations in order to obtain evidence.
   Nevertheless, he believes that people are too harsh in determining the acoustic design of ancient buildings. When we see spectacular relics without any conclusive evidence, we will believe that the architect designed it intentionally. However, when we hear perfect sound effects, we will question them and treat them as incidental or require strict evidence of acoustic design. This may be because, in a modern environment that is full of noise and no longer quiet, we are more inclined to think in terms of vision rather than hearing.
   Acoustic consultant David Rabman agrees. In 1998, he stated that the strange echo of the Kukulkan pyramid steps built by the ancient Maya was not accidental. He believes that the steps are deliberately designed to produce a chirping sound similar to that of a green bite, which is the sacred bird of the Maya.
   Resonated from the ancient
   Now let’s move back to look at prehistoric Stonehenge. Stonehenge has no roof, and at most two beams on a stone pillar are empty, unenclosed relics. It is conceivable that any sound originating from Stonehenge will soon dissipate. However, it is strange that the stones in Stonehenge are “two-sided”: the outward-facing side is rough-chiseled; the inward-facing side is finely cut to present a smooth, slightly convex surface, which is reflected by high-frequency sound Very ideal.
   On a foggy morning in the spring of 2009, Bruno Fazanda of the University of Salford in the United Kingdom studied the acoustic characteristics of Stonehenge by blasting balloons. Because many Stonehenge stones have been lost or collapsed, he also designed a Stonehenge model. Although this model is made of concrete, and its surface does not completely imitate the original stone, it still provides the best research opportunities for listening to Stonehenge’s sound 4000 years ago.
   The results of Fazanda’s research are impressive. He described it this way: “It feels like walking into a live version of the auditory space. After reflection from the stone, every inch of land here can hear your voice, even if you hide behind the stone.” High-five in this space, the echo will It disappeared after 1.2 seconds. This sound effect is no stranger to modern times, and the theater and school halls are so designed. However, in Prehistoric Stonehenge, in a space without a roof, such a sound effect had to be surprising.
   By accident or deliberately? Tir speculates that our ancestors may have learned the secret of stronger echoes reflected by smooth stones. Maybe we can never be sure whether our ancestors considered the sound effect at the beginning of construction, but this design really makes them amazing their ingenuity.