Acoustic effects at prehistoric landscapes: an archaeoacoustics analysis of rock art sites from Western Mediterranean
* Presenting author
Many pre-state societies around the world give special importance to places where special acoustic effects are generated, and often these places receive special treatment including the production of rock paintings in them. In the Western Mediterranean, it seems that outstanding acoustic effects such as directional echoes, augmented audibility and long reverberation time are present in some rock art areas with Neolithic depictions dating between the VII and IV millennia BC (painted in Macroschematic, Levantine and Schematic rock art styles). On the basis of this evidence, it has been argued that there is a strong probability of acoustics having been used as a method by Neolithic artists to select the shelters in which to produce rock art. This paper presents the results of the ongoing ERC research project in archaeoacoustics (Artsoundscapes - The sound of special places: exploring rock art soundscapes and the sacred). This project seeks to explore the role of sound in the creation and use of these archaeological sites. In particular, the authors discuss the results of previous fieldwork in three countries (Spain, France and Italy) and the development of an innovative set of research methods that includes 3D Ambisonic recordings, Transmission Loss measurements, and GIS soundshed analysis.