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My name is Margarita Diaz-Andreu, and I


work as an archaeo
research professor in, at the University
of Barcelona.
Today I will explain about my work on
acoustics and rock art.
One of the issues with archaeology has
been that archaeologists have
been obsessed with the tangible aspects of
archaeology.
Whereas they've been completely unaware of
other aspects
that might have influenced the creation of
archaeology.
But that whenever properly studied.
So my work with acoustics has been trying
to relate whether acoustics
were connected somehow with the production
of rock art in Spain.
Prehistoric rock art, and we did that.
We did this work in the gorge of Valtorta,
which
is in the province of Castellon, 40
kilometers from the sea.
And this is a gorge of about 10 kilometers
in which six, six of them, six kilometers
within that gorge, you find several Sides,
shelters with paintings.
So why were those paintings made in that
particular sector of the gorge?
And we tried to answer to this by studying
whether
these places were better for the acoustics
for the sounds produced in them.
We then looked at the gorge before the
painted area, in the painted area, and
beyond the painted area, and looked for
the results of values of reverberation and
echoes.
And the results were very clear that
before the painted area of the court, we
couldn't find much in terms of
reverberations and no echos whatsoever.
But once we entered in the painted area,
we started to find and it goes in
reverberation.
And mainly in the areas with painted
[INAUDIBLE] shelters.
So even within the decorated area, there
were, there was a distinction between the
areas where the painters had been made and
others without any paintings.
When we left the decorated area, again all
the values went down.
We, we discriminated between all those
sides with more paintings,
more motifs painted in them, and sides
that were smaller with less motifs.
And again, there were differences in the
way sound behaved in them.
The mega-sites, that we called u, there
are three major sites in Baltorka.
These had better values for echoes mainly,
than reverb, reverberation.
so, how to interpret this.
It is obvious that acoustics had something
to do with the location of these sites.
So in our hypothesis is that people were
looking
in the landscape for places that had
better sound.
And depending on what they felt, they
experienced
in these places then they painted or not.
I have to make, again, the same question,
how to interpret these values.
We can say, perhaps they were ritual
places.
And there are several factors that can
tell us that these places were special.
Not only because of the way in which sound
was
looked after, but also because we don't
really have habitation areas.
So these places had a symbolic meaning
that led us
to think that they were probably used at
three tool sites.
Can we go beyond that?
Can we go beyond saying that these were
places
that, in which most likely people were
sort of looking for
a meaning beyond the daily experience.
Well we can't really there are limits of
interpretation.
Archeologists can say, yes we can think
that these are special places.
What we will never be able to retrieve is
the particular rituals that were taking
place in those places.