Session: #184

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

From Landscape Archaeology to Soundscape Archaeology: Themes, Approaches, and Perspectives
The study of sound in archaeological contexts includes many subject areas that range from music archaeology to physics acoustics. Each of these areas raises a number of challenges concerning the choice of the methodology and the methods to be adopted. A key element in this selection pertains to the physical scale of the analysis of the auditory experience; this can vary from the perception of sounds in a limited area up to interactions within large sonic environments. Although soundscapes have been thoroughly discussed at a theoretical level, this type of analysis has so far been sparsely applied in archaeological research.
Therefore, some of the questions that papers for this session could address are: by putting sound back into an archaeological landscape, would we be able to understand how people lived? Through examination of the sounds heard by people wandering the landscape, would we be able to understand their culture and rituals in more depth? By reading (or re-reading) archaeological landscapes, how could we model an ancient soundscape? How did the study of soundscape in the past help us add a new dimension to our archaeological picture of ancient culture? How does technology enable us to understand the way sounds were experienced in their original location?
These topics will be addressed through contributions of scholars working in various fields: archaeology, acoustic engineering, archaeomusicology, soundscape studies, anthropology, neuropsychology and heritage.
Landscape Archaeology, Sound Archaeology, Archaeoacoustics, Archaeomusicology, Sensory Archaeology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
Archaeological Institute of America. Archaeomusicology Interest Group (AMIG)


Main organiser:
Angela Bellia (Italy) 1
Tommaso Mattioli (Spain) 2
1. Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage - National Research Council
2. Dept. Història i Arqueologia, Facultat de Geografia i Història Universitat de Barcelona