People have been debating the purpose of Stonehenge for hundreds of years and the latest theory is that its design could be based on sound waves created from the music of two piped instruments.
At least this is according to American researcher Steven Waller, an expert in ‘archaeoacoustics’, the role sound plays in ancient structures.
Speaking at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Canada, he explained his theory about why the standing stones were placed in the array over 4,000 years ago.
He claims that the stones are inspired by “auditory illusions” from the sound waves of two pipers where acoustic interference creates quiet patches on the land as though invisible objects are there.
“The ancient Britons, when they were hearing two pipers in a field, were experiencing sound wave interference patterns, where in certain locations as you walked around the pair of pipers, you would hear loud or quiet zones,” Waller explained to the BBC.
“As you walk around the circle, every time you come to one of these sound-wave cancellation points, it feels like there is this massive invisible object in front of you.”
To back up his theory, the expert blindfolded some volunteers and led them in a circle around two flutes playing the same note continuously.
They were then asked to sketch the shape of any obstructions that lay between them and the instruments.
Waller found that some volunteers drew circles of pillars while one added lintels too, just like Stonehenge.
According to the expert, something like sound waves would have been such a mystery to the ancient Britons that could have given reason to create the structure at the site.
Today, Stonehenge itself is a mystery and has provided its own inspiration for musicians.
Infamously, Spinal Tap had other ideas regarding the ancient stone circle and its purpose.
Which theory sounds more believable to you? Do Derek Smalls’ basslines outweigh Steven Waller’s research?