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magnitude − dB magnitude
−60 −60
−80 −80
−100 50 100 250500 1k 2.5k 5k 10k −100 50 100 250500 1k 2.5k 5k 10k
−80 −100
0 −20 −40 −60 −80 −100
50 100 250500 1k 2.5k 5k 10k
50 100 250 500
1k 1.5k
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frequency − Hz
frequency − Hz
measured "EQ" per duct, from microphones at exterior openings
frequency − Hz
pututu H3 BOOST in CENTER DUCTonly pututu H1 BOOST in ALL DUCTS
SOUTH duct, ext. opening
CENTER duct, ext. opening
NORTH duct, ext. opening
4k 5k 10k
frequency − Hz
Figure 7. Magnitude frequency measured at the exterior openings of the three ducts connecting Chavín’s Lanzón Gallery with its Circular Plaza via the repeated sinusoidal-sweep impulse-response method. The sounding-tone range (H1) and articulation peak (H3) of site-exca- vated conch shell horns (pututus) are privileged by duct acoustics. Adapted from a diagram by Miriam Kolar and Jonathan S. Abel (Kolar et al., 2012, Figure 13).
tailed. Indeed, sonic engagements with archaeological sites, whether or not musicological in purpose, have frequently stemmed from reconstructive soundings (often hand claps, footsteps, or whistles) as, for example, archaeoacoustics pioneers Paul Devereux (2001), Iegor Reznikoff (2006), Wayne Van Kirk, David Lubman, and rock art specialist Ste- ven Waller have recounted in professional venues and in the popular press, among work by others too numerous to list here. Acoustics Today previously featured the work of Jelle Atema (2014), Professor Emeritus of Biology, Boston Univer- sity, and Adjunct Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Insti- tution, MA, a flutist who studied with renowned performer Jean-Pierre Rampal. Atema has innovated the experimental reconstruction, performance, and organological exploration of flute technology, offering a comprehensive, physics-based perspective on ancient music making.
Although cross-disciplinary expertise is a hallmark of indi- vidual archaeoacousticians, collaborations across multiple fields drive unprecedented explorations of ancient sonics, which often result in formal musical performances for au- diences. In 1992, musical acoustician Murray Campbell, musicologist John Purser, archaeologist Fraser Hunter, sil- versmith John Creed, and musician John Kenny began a multidisciplinary archaeomusicological reconstruction of the carnyx, a Celtic brass instrument based on fragments excavated in northeastern Scotland (Campbell and Kenny, 2012; Their collaboration has produced numerous archaeological engagements, includ- ing concert presentations of the carnyx in venues such as the 2018 Experimental Music Archaeology Symposium at the State Archaeology Museum in Brandenburg, Germany. Mu- sicians such as Swiss trombonist Michel Flury have explored archaeological contexts to develop new musical interpreta-
tions on replicas of ancient instruments, such as Flury’s se- ries of Chavín-inspired performances with modern pututus that were featured in a local concert in that Andean town, followed by music for an international exhibition by the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland, and continuing in current work (Flury’s Klanginstallation Chavín available at Beyond performance practice, music archaeologists are increasingly incorporating acousti- cal concerns and methods to characterize and contextual- ize musical materials, especially for artifact instruments of sound production that can be played or convincingly recon- structed (Both, 2009).
Mapping the Potential for Sonic Communication
Following the premise of sound as a near-universal means for human communication, archaeoacoustics is frequently concerned with establishing the plausibility of what can be heard and from where, dependent not only on acoustical sci- ence but also information from site archaeology. Archaeo- logical context includes considerations about who would be hearing what sonic material, under what environmental conditions, and in what social or political settings. Archaeo- acoustical studies frequently seek to test interpretative or historical claims as well as provide experimental evidence for sonic dynamics not reported or considered by others. For comparison and contrast with my initial discussion of the Chavín pututu echo study and to show how archaeoacousti- cal tools and methods can be adapted across archaeological contexts, I offer an example of an outdoor archaeoacousti- cal survey that also employed a Strombus pututu as one of several sound sources. To produce empirical data on site- specific sound transmission as well as test claims from many archaeological and historical accounts regarding the role of sound and architecture in Inca governance, archaeologist
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