Methodology

The first stage of the project was a literature review. This was followed by a theoretical and mathematical acoustic study of archaeological plans of Stonehenge. A further stage of the project was the acoustic study of a physically constructed model of Stonehenge. The final stage was digital acoustic modelling, the use of computer software to analyse the acoustics of a digital graphical model of Stonehenge. From comparison of these theoretical studies and the results of a literature review, a hypothesis could then be developed. This hypothesis could then be tested by looking for evidence to support it from onsite field measurements and tests at Stonehenge itself.

The final stage would be the reconstruction of the acoustics/sounds of a site, conducting experimental archaeology. It would be important to note that any reconstruction could not be a definitive explanation of the acoustic properties of Stonehenge, but that it could be a useful process, helping to give a phenomenological understanding of the site, and to provide an indication of the likely, or possible sound, acoustics and music of prehistoric Stonehenge.

With very limited funding for this work, the project aimed to conduct an initial study into each area. Further work would include construction of virtual reality realisations of Stonehenge with integrated imagery, sound and acoustics. It would also be important to make comparisons with other sites and stone circles, and with other parts of the surrounding landscape as well as the Stonehenge stone circle. Although work is still continuing on the project, it is appropriate to present an indication of initial results.

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