Cultural Acoustics

Integrative Archaeoacoustics research examines relationships among diverse forms of sound-related evidence from ancient sites, while seeking relevant ethnographic data from present-day sources. Where site contexts and objects of sound production are adequately preserved, direct observational testing and acoustical measurements may be made, along with perceptual evaluation by human participants of systematic experimentation. Site-contextualized psychoacoustics, conducted in-situ where possible, and also by means of virtual reconstructions (computational models known as auralizations) constitute a methodical approach to the archaeological study of human experiential dynamics. Integrative archaeoacoustics may be understood as a developing framework for probing the interconnections among material culture, physical dynamic processes, sensory phenomena, and human experience, first applied in investigations led by Miriam Kolar at the Andean Formative site at Chavín de Huántar, Perú.