Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Stonehenge Rave

As with dinosaurs there seems to be a new theory about Stonehenge every few months. This latest one is quite interesting.

The mysterious Stonehenge was a dance arena for ancient revellers listening to 'trance-style' music, according to one professor who is an expert in sound.

Quite the party spot- and the acoustics expert who came up with the notion tested his theory in the US.

The most exciting discoveries came when he and colleague Dr Bruno Fazenda visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge, which was built as a war memorial by American road builder Sam Hill at Maryhill in Washington state.

He said: 'We were able to get some interesting results when we visited the replica by using computer-based acoustic analysis software, a 3D soundfield microphone, a dodecahedronic (12-faced) speaker, and a huge bass speaker.

'We have also been able to reproduce the sound of someone speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.

'The most interesting thing is we managed to get the whole space (at Maryhill) to resonate, almost like a wine glass will ring if you run a finger round it.

He notes that the stones were shaped or curved as if to reflect sound. While I can't see the construction as being purely for a neolithic rave, it doesn't seem beyond possibility that the site was perhaps enhanced to maximise the acoustic properties for whatever rituals were held there.

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