DIY Digital Archaeoacoustics: Sensory-Spatial Mapping

Author(s): Miriam Kolar

Year: 2015


An experiential link to past life, sound is a medium for engaging questions of ancient emplacement and human activity. Spatial sonics can be linked to a dynamic sensory map of one's surroundings; beyond conveying information about structural boundaries and environmental events, architectural and landform acoustics can help or hinder communication. Although acoustics and audio digital signal processing are specialist disciplines, consumer audio technologies can enable the extraction of sonic characteristics from the objects that produce sound and the structures that shape it. Inexpensive, free, and/or open source audio computing tools can be leveraged for non-invasive research methods, important to site conservation. Integrative archaeoacoustics fieldwork at the Andean Formative ceremonial center at Chavín de Huántar, Peru has relied upon customized digital audio research tools and methods, frequently developed in the field DIY-style, in response to site features and logistical challenges. New research connects acoustic data with coincident auditory perceptual responses to generate sensory spatial maps, informed by DIY archaeoacoustics, to engage sonic questions.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

DIY Digital Archaeoacoustics: Sensory-Spatial Mapping. Miriam Kolar. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397243)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;