A scale model of Stonehenge has been constructed in an attempt to find out what early visitors to the monument more than 4,000 years ago would have heard. University of Salford academics used all the original 157 stones from 2,200 BC in their model.
According to Professor Trevor Cox (above), the model gives an insight “into what our ancestors would have heard in the stone circles. Now we know the voice would have been enhanced by being in that space.”
Academics worked with English Heritage using laser scans of the stones and architectural research to create the shape and position of the stones in an acoustic chamber. “Surprisingly, considering the henge has no roof and there are lots of spaces between the stones, the acoustics are more like an enclosed room rather than an outdoor space,” Cox, who is leading the project, said.
In 2012, a team of academics carried out acoustic experiments using the full-sized concrete reconstruction of the monument in Maryhill, Washington. After comparing the results, Cox confirmed scientists were getting “similar answers except at bass frequencies. We don’t know exactly how Stonehenge was used,” he continued, “but whatever happened around or inside it would have involved sound and so understanding the acoustics is a vital part of understanding Stonehenge.”