Acoustics of Sacred Sites

Archaeoacoustics in the Circumpolar North

In Finland, the Ural Mountains and the Canadian Shield, a number of steep cliffs rise along old water routes. Many of these cliffs have rock paintings and offering sites that indicate past ritual activity, possibly including music making. In 2013, a joint musicological and archaeological research project was started to study the acoustic properties of these sacred sites. The acoustic measurements by 2022 show that the painted and sacrificial cliffs reflect sound forcibly, forming a special acoustic environment distinct from the nearby surroundings. This suggests a link between sound rituals and the sacred sites.