Page 33 - Winter Issue 2018
P. 33

of potential experiences. Lubman’s documentation and acous- the direct study of living humans. In contrast, archaeology
tical analysis of the sonic enhancement effect of medieval Eu- is about the indirect study of human life via materials. Al-
ropean shrine architecture demonstrates a physical basis for though in recent decades, archaeology has taken an experi-
the spiritually transformative experience recounted in histori- ential turn (e.g., Shanks, 1992; Hamilakis, 2013), with grow-
cal documents and elaborated in literature. ing discourse around sensory concerns (Day, 2013) and even
incorporating cognitive neuroscience (Renfrew et al., 2009),
sound as A.-chaea|ggi¢a| such literature typically discusses sound from a philosophi-
Evidence: Af-chaeoacous1;ica| Thea“, cal rather than a scientific perspective.
and lvlethad Archaeoacousticians directly address the sensory implica-
DrscrP1rnai'}’Back3Tou”‘r-' Studying Soundrn Archaeorog7 tions of material archaeology and, although often reference
Because ‘archaeologY emPloYs eXPerts from manY nelds> the psychoacoustical quantities, infrequently apply auditory
eXPloration or sound‘related archaeological concerns bY scientific methodologies in detailed studies of archaeologi-
acousticians might seem a tYPical collaboration However! cal sites or materials. My dissertation research leveraged
acoustical science is a novel and infrequent addition to the experimental Psyehoaeousties to evaluate experiential im.
archaeological toolkits with sonic concerns tYPicallY given plications of Chavin’s interior acoustics, situating systematic
cursorY mention it not ignored- Until recentlY (e-g-> Scarre auditory localization experiments within the archaeological
and Lawson’ zooo)’ sound as a toPic ror archaeological in‘ architecture (Kolar, 2013). In these experiments, the sound
quirY Was assumed common sense or relegated to musicolo' stimulus was a recording of a site-excavated conch shell
gistss Who PrimarilY deal with nonsonic musical culture! such horn (a Chavin pututu), chosen for both its ecological valid-
as textual and graPhical rePresentations or musical Practices ity to the archaeological context and its sonic characteristics
or the reconstruction or instruments and tuning sYstems- of a noisy attack and tonal sustain. To facilitate a consistent
The habitual dismissal or sound as a toPic tor archaeological stimulus across all combinations of source and listener loca-
studY maY relate to the mismatch between ePhemeral un' tions, the pututu sound stimulus was recorded with a mi-
der standings or sound and the Premise or contemPorarY ar' crophone located at the instrument bell and reproduced in
chaeologY- Archaeologists investigate human eXPeriehce tn‘ the experiment through matching single-driver, directional
di’ectl}’> inferring human actions on things and Places from loudspeakers (Meyer MM-4XP) calibrated to 96 dB(A) at 1
material evidence (such as “use'Wear” marks on objects) meter to approximate the sound level and directionality of
rather than from direct accounts bY indiViduals- DesPite its these conch shell horns. Figure 3 is an architectural illus-
material basis: archaeologY otten incorPorates knowledge tration from survey data of one of the two Chavin galleries
from the ethnograPhic Work or anthroPologY or etrmomusi‘ where the experiment took place, with a scaled 1.68-meter
cologys Where testimonials and Practices are recorded from human figure depicting eight sequentially tested participant
living humans, or from the narratives that constitute writ- Positions with facing directions (labeled «pOS>>) and Six
ten historYs to form rmologtcol or corroborative arguments- separately sounding stimulus locations (labeled “SOURCE”)
in Practice: archaeological interPretation is a nuanced Pro‘ where loudspeakers were directed away from nearest walls.
cess of identitYing and interrelating converging tor ms or eVi' The experiment produced data towards understanding how
dence of human actions and related environmental ractors- the waveguide-like architecture influences localization cues
Sensory Phenomena in Archaeology in this purported ritual environlnent (Kolar, 2013), research
Both archaeology and acoustics focus on materials. The that mtttated wttatttetet to as SenS°rY'SPatta1 mappmg of
inferential logic that transforms sound into archaeological the atchaeologtcal Settmg'
material requires a discussion of mechanics and relation- Recanstructingand Interpret1'ngArcI1aea1og1'caI Sound
ships. Such conceptualization is not unlike the logic that Although this article features experimental archaeoacous-
archaeologists use to trace the effects of human actions and tics research that explores extant architecture, instruments,
environmental processes on cultural materials. However, and sites, some archaeoacoustics work is more theoretical,
studying sound and humans requires an examination of sen- based on reconstructions using computational modeling
sory, perceptual, and cognitive aspects of sonic experience. techniques and dynamical estimations. For experimental
Human-produced and received sounds have physiological observation, whether in situ or in models, sound must be
and psychological ramifications, studied via psychology in generated via some form of vibratory excitation or a mod-
Winter 2018 | Acnustics Thday | 51

   31   32   33   34   35