Page 31 - Winter Issue 2018
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1 J .  _,.._ _ ‘ Figure 1. Ancient sound-
~' 'I ' ., '2 7‘   =.;:\ producing instruments.
I __ K W I  _,'  _:‘   Shown are 2 examples of
I ‘:5. / /r  Z1’ _4 " ,1  ‘- _ 3 i__' __ 3,000—year—old marine
\  , _‘  . -. -53¢?“ . H . ' ~‘ conch shell horns known
. _  lg ‘ ‘  ,’   fig ~.  as “pututus” excavated in
__ I '_ _‘ ‘ ‘I,’ I " .». _“'   V 2001 as a cache of 20 at
V \ </g ‘ I I; " I   the Andean Formative cer-
 " ,_ 3‘ 3 , _:' emonial center at Chavin de
‘ii’-'  Huantar, Peril. Photographs
' courtesy of lose’ L. Cruzado
, Coronel (left) and Iohn W
Rick (right). Programa de
_ Investigation Arqueologica
E g§ y Conservation Chavin de
. Huantar.
chitectural ruins to examinations of recently abandoned (2016) has explored sound effects at the Maya site Chichén
places or discarded objects, archaeological discoveries stem Itza, México, since 1998. Lubman’s approach to archaeo-
from what archaeologists call material culture. An interdis- acoustics is exemplary in its melding of humanities per-
ciplinary and anthropological social science, archaeology spectives, social science, and experimental and analytical
reaches across fields to harness tools and expertise (Trigger, acoustical methods. In his work, nonacoustical background
2006). More than an application of acoustics to archaeology, research provides context for acoustical investigations. The
archaeoacoustics mobilizes science, engineering, and hu- importance of archaeological context to archaeoacoustical
manities research to produce archaeological interpretation. research should not be understated. Among the many sec-
Through methods including experimental tests, analytical ondary accounts of Lubman’s research, some writers have
models, and computational reconstructions, archaeoacous- devalued the anthropological information that Lubman con-
ticians explore and demonstrate the dynamical potential siders in both research design and interpretation. Dismissal
and sensory implications of archaeological materials. of nonacoustical forms of data that are culturally pertinent
Th d di 1 f H to an archaeoacoustical investigation demonstrates a basic
ere are numerous an verse examp es o exce ent ar- . h _ .
chaeoacoustics research (e.g., see case study discussions in m‘5“"_d°’§t““d“‘g of archaeology" A’°_h“°°1°$‘St5 mterpret
Scare and Lawson’ 2006)’ best recounted by the research materials in cultural contexts and physical settings to create
ers themselves. Here, I offer an overview of experimental ap- narrjlmfes ibout Plauslble aspectsof Past human 1_1f‘? from
proaches to archaeoacoustics via firsthand accounts, includ- the thmgs  Places that were lmportant to mdlvlduals’
. . . . . . groups, and societies (Wiley, 2002).
mg an interview with archaeoacoustics pioneer and Fellow
of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) David Lubman. Lubman works independently of archaeological projects to
An acoustical consultant, Lubman was awarded the Helm- explore the acoustics of places of persistent human interest.
holtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Architectural Lubman’s method brings together knowledge from history,
Acoustics and Noise by the ASA in 2004 for work in noise and literature, and auditory science, yet the driving impetus is
standards and for contributions to architectural and archeo- his multifaceted acoustical engineering expertise. In 2007,
logical acoustics (e.g., Lubman and Wetherill, 1985). Lubman presented one such cross-disciplinary explora-
tion, “The Acoustician’s Tale: Acoustics at the Shrine of St.
Ar-chaeoacousizics in Practice: Werburgh” to the 42nd International Congress on Medi-
Multidisciplinary Research eval Studies. In this research, Lubman looked to European
An Interview with David Lubman literature and history to understand religious pilgrimages
A common starting point in archaeoacoustics fieldwork to shrine sites where saints would be petitioned (prayed to)
has been the evaluation of location-based sound effects, through contact with their relics, such as the basis for Chau-
especially in relation to historical accounts, mythological cer’s 1387 Canterbury Tales. Such accounts serve in archae-
premises, and public and ceremonial architecture. Lubman ology as anthropological analogies rather than as contextual
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