What Did Stonehenge Sound Like?

Researchers found a reverberation effect.

via Smithsonian

To find out, he borrowed a standard technique from architectural acoustics and built a scaled-down model. The tallest replica stones are approximately two feet high. Cox and his co-workers based the model on laser scans of Stonehenge that were provided by Historic England, the government agency responsible for preserving historic sites, as well as the latest archaeological thinking about the different construction phases and configuration of the original stones.

To create replicas, he 3-D-printed 27 of the stones. Then he made silicon molds of them and cast the other 130 stones. Some of the model stones were hollow plastic; cavities were filled with aggregate and plaster mix. The others were cast using a plaster-polymer-water mix. Gaps were filled with children’s modeling clay. All the replica stones were sealed with a cellulose car spray paint to prevent sound from being absorbed. Once the model was complete, he began experimenting with microphones and speakers, and measuring sound waves with a computer.

Read more.


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