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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews evidence for relationships between acoustics and rock art by examining the antiquity and nature of such relationships, then examining evidence for music depicted or engraved in rock art. This is followed by a summary of the remains of actual musical instruments found at rock art sites, including lithophones found at or close to rock art. The sonority of rock art landscapes is then assessed, first in those cases where natural elements can unleash special sonorous effects and then in places where exceptional acoustics have been selected for the creation of artworks. The authors conclude that a consideration of sound is common in the placement of rock art and that it should therefore be more routinely considered when recording rock art. The significance of sound in social relations and religious activities makes this aspect of rock art sites essential for understanding the societies that produced it.

Keywords: rock art, archaeoacoustics, music, musical instruments, sound, echo, reverberation, lithopones, soundscape, sonotope

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