The theatre at Aspendos, Turkey is famous for its magnificent acoustics. Even the slightest sound made at the center of the orchestra can be easily heard as far as the upper most galleries. It is the best preserved and most complete example of a Roman theatre.

Ancient Acoustic Artifacts and Communication with the Gods

(Read the article on one page)

Figure 2. Maya monkey whistle. (William Scott / BigStockPhoto)

Figure 2. Maya monkey whistle. (William Scott / BigStockPhoto)

Conclusions from the Above Article

“Is it possible that for thousands of years Peruvian civilization utilized sound to effect psycho-physiological reactions?  Perhaps because of a more esoteric approach to life, the Andeans discerned a reality not readily apparent to modern mankind”.

Analysis of Worldwide Ancient Sites with Acoustic Properties

Part of my research has centered on investigating the global spread of ancient sites demonstrating acoustic resonance properties. One question I wanted to try and answer was, “did a number of ancient cultures have an understanding of sound and use it for altered states of consciousness?”. Based on my own experiences at various ancient sites, it has become clear that archaeologists are generally misunderstanding our ancestors. Something they often label as “communication with the gods or spirit world” which is a type of catch all explanation that explains very little. Once the connection between acoustics and ancient sites had been revealed, a pattern could be found around the world. From Egypt to Peru, throughout the Mediterranean, across Europe to Scotland, as well as in the far east including India, a connection between sound and historical locations can be discerned.

Ancient acoustic artifacts and buildings analyzed through the lens of modern science are starting to reveal some tantalizing clues. A number of ancient peoples appear to have had an understanding and sacred science based on resonance and sound frequency. For more on this I suggest you read this fascinating article “The Fall and Rise of Resonance”. This article provides a great overview starting with various cultures and metaphysical beliefs in the Neolithic, which included resonance concepts. These include: The Egyptian Hermetecists, Hebrew mysticism and Gnosticism and the Greek Pythagorean school.

A central tenet of these various schools was the understanding of how to use certain places and sound frequencies. They may have thought of this as contacting the great spirit or their ancestors. Or perhaps they understood more than what we give them credit for. Modern science is revealing that certain areas of the brain “light up” when exposed to certain sound frequencies. Creativity, intuition, deep personal insights, epiphanies of understanding are all possibilities under these conditions.

There is an increasing body of scientific research (references at the end of this article), confirming that many ancient sites were built with acoustics as a central feature. We may find in time that many other sites like Chavin were built with this in mind. The acoustics features at Chavin seem to have dictated the entire layout of the site, including the diversion of two rivers. A massive task of human labor, planning and endeavor. This tells us something; the result of all this work was considered worthwhile. In the 21 st century we also put huge amounts of effort into engineering projects, such as dams; we do this because we can derive a noticeable benefit from all of the work – power to run our homes and machines. Did the people of Peru also gain a noticeable benefit justifying their time and effort? Something we have forgotten or misunderstood?

Figure 3. Chavín de Huántar archaeological site in Peru

Figure 3. Chavín de Huántar archaeological site in Peru ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

Articles on ancient acoustics are now becoming common place in the mainstream press; here is an example from October 2014. The International Business Times published an article “Stonehenge Was a 'Giant Echo Chamber to Summon up the Ancient Spirits'”.

The article goes on to say. “Ancient man's greatest monuments were giant echo chambers to create vast soundscapes to speak to the gods, according to new research.”

Figure 4. Stonehenge has been likened to a giant echo chamber

Figure 4. Stonehenge has been likened to a giant echo chamber ( Public Domain )

Pyramids in Egypt

I could easily dedicate an entire article to the subject of acoustic chambers inside the pyramids of Egypt. I visit Egypt and the Great Pyramid on a regular basis, (at the time of writing I have been there around 25 times). Great minds and ordinary people have marvelled at the Great Pyramid for thousands of years – was it just a tomb as we are told by archaeologists? One fact that can’t be argued is that the main chamber of the Great Pyramid amplifies sound. I expect there are a number of academics who would like to dismiss this fact as a “coincidence” caused by the construction material. They might point out rooms constructed of stone as well as caves produce an acoustic effect. However, there are a large number of engineering features inside the Great Pyramid and surrounding the Kings Chamber that enhance the acoustic effect. Was all of this time and effort put in for no other reason than constructing a nice sounding room for the pharaohs’ body?

Comments

I currently have several unique examples of  whistling vessels which were suppossedly found on the Pacific side of Nicaragua, and that I am currently attempting to authenticate. To my knowlege, there are no records of similar objects in this region, thus I am very sceptical of their authenticity. When I have more information to share on these remarkable looking pieces, I will publish my tentative findings. Who knows, they may very well be beautifully done fakes, or possibly pieces which could challenge our ideas about the indigenous cultures in the “Isthmo-Columbian” area of the Americas.

R. Lee Bowers

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