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  chitectural ruins to examinations of recently abandoned places or discarded objects, archaeological discoveries stem from what archaeologists call material culture. An interdis- ciplinary and anthropological social science, archaeology reaches across fields to harness tools and expertise (Trigger, 2006). More than an application of acoustics to archaeology, archaeoacoustics mobilizes science, engineering, and hu- manities research to produce archaeological interpretation. Through methods including experimental tests, analytical models, and computational reconstructions, archaeoacous- ticians explore and demonstrate the dynamical potential and sensory implications of archaeological materials.
There are numerous and diverse examples of excellent ar- chaeoacoustics research (e.g., see case study discussions in Scarre and Lawson, 2006), best recounted by the research- ers themselves. Here, I offer an overview of experimental ap- proaches to archaeoacoustics via firsthand accounts, includ- ing an interview with archaeoacoustics pioneer and Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) David Lubman. An acoustical consultant, Lubman was awarded the Helm- holtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Architectural Acoustics and Noise by the ASA in 2004 for work in noise and standards and for contributions to architectural and archeo- logical acoustics (e.g., Lubman and Wetherill, 1985).
Archaeoacoustics in Practice: Multidisciplinary Research
An Interview with David Lubman
A common starting point in archaeoacoustics fieldwork has been the evaluation of location-based sound effects, especially in relation to historical accounts, mythological premises, and public and ceremonial architecture. Lubman
Figure 1. Ancient sound- producing instruments. Shown are 2 examples of 3,000-year-old marine conch shell horns known as “pututus” excavated in 2001 as a cache of 20 at the Andean Formative cer- emonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Perú. Photographs courtesy of José L. Cruzado Coronel (left) and John W. Rick (right). Programa de Investigación Arqueológica y Conservación Chavín de Huántar.
(2016) has explored sound effects at the Maya site Chichén Itzá, México, since 1998. Lubman’s approach to archaeo- acoustics is exemplary in its melding of humanities per- spectives, social science, and experimental and analytical acoustical methods. In his work, nonacoustical background research provides context for acoustical investigations. The importance of archaeological context to archaeoacoustical research should not be understated. Among the many sec- ondary accounts of Lubman’s research, some writers have devalued the anthropological information that Lubman con- siders in both research design and interpretation. Dismissal of nonacoustical forms of data that are culturally pertinent to an archaeoacoustical investigation demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of archaeology. Archaeologists interpret materials in cultural contexts and physical settings to create narratives about plausible aspects of past human life from the “things” and places that were important to individuals, groups, and societies (Wiley, 2002).
Lubman works independently of archaeological projects to explore the acoustics of places of persistent human interest. Lubman’s method brings together knowledge from history, literature, and auditory science, yet the driving impetus is his multifaceted acoustical engineering expertise. In 2007, Lubman presented one such cross-disciplinary explora- tion, “The Acoustician’s Tale: Acoustics at the Shrine of St. Werburgh” to the 42nd International Congress on Medi- eval Studies. In this research, Lubman looked to European literature and history to understand religious pilgrimages to shrine sites where saints would be petitioned (prayed to) through contact with their relics, such as the basis for Chau- cer’s 1387 Canterbury Tales. Such accounts serve in archae- ology as anthropological analogies rather than as contextual
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