Dr. Rupert Till of the University of Huddersfield has created a new film using computer modelling of Stonehenge. Based on an old laser scan from English Heritage from 1993/4, computer modelling has been used to try to create an experimental reconstruction of what it might have been like to be at Stonehenge thousands of years ago. A high power computing array of processors was used to render the images, which as source files were about 200GB of data. Sound was then added using digital acoustic models generated using Odeon architectural acoustics modelling software.

In the film you are walking up the hill towards Stonehenge (the model was placed on accurate LIDAR ground data), which appears over the crest of the hill. It is sunset on the winter solstice. You slowly walk towards and into the centre of the stone circle. You can hear the sound of percussion in the space. The tempo of the music is set by echoes that are present. You might also hear a whistle or flute, this is a reconstruction of the Wilsford flute, a bone flute found near Stonehenge in the Wilsford shaft. The original was made when Stonehenge was in use in prehistory. You might, if you are wearing headphones or using good loudspeakers) hear a low pitched hum. When the wind blows hard, you may hear at Stonehenge, even today, a low pitched hum at 47Hz, the result of the co-inidence of an on- and off-axis circular mode of resonance.

Having entered the circle, you leave your body and fly around the site. TIme moves forward so you can see the effect of shadows in the space. The film fades between different possible phasing and organisation of the site, the inner bluestones disappearing, then all the bluestones going, then the sarsen stones leaving to be replaced by bluestones in the Aubrey holes. Eventually you return to the centre of the stone circle and leave the way you came.

This is intended to be a phenomenological experience, an experimental reconstruction, a suggestion of what it might have been like to be at Stonehenge in prehistory. It cannot hope to be exactly accurate, but can at least open a short window into the past.

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