This generously illustrated collection of presentations and reports presents a fascinating multidimensional perspective on ancient cultures, including some that have not been widely known.
Ancient civilizations developed far more than fine artwork and magnificent monuments. In songs to their gods, laments for their dead, and the universal human quest for the supernatural, people also made some very strange noise. Scholars from around the world explore man's early use of sound and music, revealing both ancient knowledge and the potential for new learning.
"Archaeoacoustics is at this 'pre-paradigmatic stage'," writes anthropologist Dr. Ezra Zubrow, "This book will help that synthesizing, theorizing pioneer of the future. Looking back there will be new scholars who will wonder how present scholars could have been so wrong. They will smile and yet they will remember this book. For in some sense, they will say 'this is where it began.'"
Features Editor for "New Scientist" Magazine Kate Douglas explains: "Where the rest of us see stones, bones, rubble and shards, they (archaeologists) see the tell-tale remains of past lives. With careful scrutiny they are able to use this material to build up a picture of a culture, its technological know-how, trade in commodities and ideas, diet, lifestyle and even beliefs. Until recently, however, almost all archaeological insights have been gleaned by looking at ancient remains. Now archaeologists are starting to think beyond the visual. One of the most exciting branches of the new multi-sensory archaeology is archaeoacoustics, the archaeology of sound. In February 2014, the pioneers of this field met on the island of Malta for their first international conference. It was truly extraordinary."
"Our goal for the conference was to focus in a responsible way on the behavior of sound in important ancient spaces, and the way that people may have used it," says conference organizer Linda Eneix. "We sought hints for the way sound may have impacted on early human development. We intended to bring together a broad base of expertise, science, and objective observation toward a multi-faceted understanding of human ingenuity."
Contributors include: Alejandro Ramos-Amezquita, Panagiota Avgerinou, Ros Bandt, Anna Borg Cardona, Emma Brambilla, Fernando Coimbra, Stef Conner, Paolo Debertolis, Stella Dreni, Richard England, Mairi Gkikaki, Annie Goh, Anne Habermehl, Wouter F. M. Henkelman, Sepideh Khaksar, David J. Knight, Glenn Kreisberg, Selin Kucuk, Esthir Lemi, Torill Christine Lindstrom, Maria Cristina Pascual Noguerol, Riita Rainio, Iegor Reznikoff, Mustafa Sahin, Divya Shrivastava, Katya Stroud, Rupert Till, Steven J. Waller, Nektarios Peter Yioutsos, Ezra Zubrow.
-- A full list of titles is available at www.archaeoacoustics.org. --
NOTE: This volume also contains preliminary reports from the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (ca. 3600 BCE) acoustics project conducted on-site.