The amazing acoustics of Stonehenge

Originally published at:


I’m not saying it is alie…


My heart just isn’t in it…



Love that model.
I wonder who gets to take that prize home after all the experiments are over.

Did they save the dimensions in public domain, just in case someone wants to make it with, oh, a 3-D printer that uses cement as the feedstock?

Also, picky pendant in me says that they should have brought some physics-appropriate soil from the site for the “floor” of Stonehenge, unless that MDF is the same acoustic density. I suppose I will have to RTFA…


If they’re testing off a model “one-twelfth the size of the actual monument” do they have to concentrate on acoustics of one-twelfth the wave length of a chanting Druid? (“Yer daft, you are! your average Druid chants in yer 100-200 Hz range or 2 meters so one twelfth of that would be inna range of 1900 Hz way out of yer soprano. now allowing for particularly humid air off the moors… wait, what were we talk’n about?”)


Modern day equivalency:

So I lived in this city for a bit, oops! The audio tricks used here at “The Center of the Universe” was one amazing thing to behold. I had my beloved border collie sit at my feet right on the medallion and bellowed “GOOD DOG!!!” He freaked out crawled up my torso and started licking my face like I was God who had spoken to him, lol. Really cool spot, almost worth going to Tulsa just to check it out. If your white that is, the folks I met freaked me out like the sheriff who brought his kid to KKK meetings, or the restaurant manager who wouldn’t hire this kid because “we only have colored folks bus tables here!” :confused:

Sorry Tulsa, I digress, have you as a city changed yet? About the center of the Universe and it’s similarity to the standing Stones…


I helped set up a wedding in this dome, and it is a full-on circular building:

The acoustics are pretty wild. Standing under the oculus, in the center point of the floor, and it’s easy to create standing waves and echoes.

We’ve listened to “unplugged” concerts in there, and the placement of the band–especially any drums–is tricky, to say the least.


They are suggesting that the room simulated the impacted soil at the site. It would likely have been very, very hard.


So what I’m gathering from this report is that the sound system at Stonehenge went up to 11?


Okay, but is it any different than any old big circle of rocks and did they intend that property, or it’s just a coincidental benefit of putting rocks in a circle?

People write breathlessly about Stonehenge as though the people were ancient geniuses who understood quantum mechanics. However one does not need any motivation beyond “this is the only way we have to build a big structure” for building it that way. Not everything exists a certain way for a reason. People just like building big stuff that looks nice.


No. It must always be for unknown but probably ritual purposes. :wink:

(I seem to recall a heated thread about this and archaeologists, here, a long time ago. Hope I haven’t started it up again.) :wink:


In my head all I see are a bunch of Druids wandering around saying: “Can you hear me now?”


As a professional archaeologist I absolutely agree.


Heh, there is that old joke among archeologists (or sociologists? Both?) that if you don’t know what something was for, it was “ceremonial”.


Or however they counted in ancient druid.

to quote from the paper

One source of uncertainty in the modelling is the exact prehistoric ground conditions. It has been assumed that construction with stones that weigh up to 30 tonnes would lead to heavily compacted grassland over the chalk geology. The random incidence absorption coefficient for ‘compacted dense ground’ was calculated using data from Attenborough et al. (2016). The physical scale model used unvarnished Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) for the floor because this gave similar ab-sorption coefficients at twelve times the frequency (Jeon et al., 2009).

Jeon et al (2009) refers to this article.

and Attenborough 2016 to this one

Sometimes, knowing what what one is doing comes down to consulting the appropriate papers.


Cool space. Great light and nice carpentry. Rooms each have their own sound effects. My favorite in door spaces feature massive pipe organs but whatever.

Outdoor sound effects feels more like magic. When you get a perfect reverb from an underground parking garage, or a slot canyon, your shower, lol.

These days people think of amplifiers as a price of electronics, sure good point but there are simple methods of sound amplification without a wired watt, no?

When you are outdoors AND experience good sound it’s superior tho indoor noises. Why do you think Hobos and Gypsy types always have an organ or a fiddle? Insert troll food here


Mine either. I am trying to be lighter of spirit, to joke around, try to laugh more… but I just can’t right now. I’m not saying to the jokesters to stop joking… it’s ok. I’m just having a hard time right now. /rant

Sorry, I took it to 11 just now. You probably only meant it as a 2.


Right, “aLyn”… :thinking:


We like to call it “ritual” but yeah, that’s pretty much the joke with a certain amount of truth in it. Less so recently but up until the 70s or so prehistorians did a lot of that.