The paper entitled Psychology meets archaeology: psychoarchaeoacoustics for understanding ancient minds and their relation to the sacred, by Valenzuela, Díaz-Andreu, and Escera, has been published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
This paper is the first outcome of our collaboration with archaeologist Prof. Margarita Díaz-Andreu, ICREA Research Professor at our University (Department of History and Archaeology), in the frame of the ERC Advanced grant ARTSOUNDSCAPES – The sound of special places: exploring rock art soundscapes and the sacred. Departing from the idea that the acoustic environments of rock-art site influenced human experience of sound in sacred ritual practices in pre-modern societies, in this Mini-Review we argue that investigating these relationships, experimentally, is possible.
The full abstract reads as follows:
How important is the influence of spatial acoustics on our mental processes related to sound perception and cognition? There is a large body of research in fields encompassing architecture, musicology, and psychology that analyzes human response, both subjective and objective, to different soundscapes. But what if we want to understand how acoustic environments influenced the human experience of sound in sacred ritual practices in premodern societies? Archaeoacoustics is the research field that investigates sound in the past. One of its branches delves into how sound was used in specific landscapes and at sites with rock art, and why past societies endowed a special significance to places with specific acoustical properties. Taking advantage of the advances made in sound recording and reproduction technologies, researchers are now exploring how ancient social and sacred ceremonies and practices related to the acoustic properties of their sound environment. Here, we advocate for the emergence of a new and innovative discipline, experimental psychoarchaeoacoustics. We also review underlying methodological approaches and discuss the limitations, challenges, and future directions for this new field.
Valenzuela, J., Díaz-Andreu, M., & Escera, C. (2020). Psychology meets archaeology: psychoarchaeoacoustics for understanding ancient minds and their relation to the sacred. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:550794.
Permanent doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.550794