An American researcher has claimed that ancient Britons based the design of Wiltshire’s Stonehenge on the way they perceived sounds. Steven Waller, an expert in the roles that sound might have played in ancient cultures (known as ‘archaeoacoustics’), said: “My theory is that 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 also stated that his ideas were supported by measurements he had made of the acoustic shadows actually cast by the Stonehenge megaliths.
A team of archaeologists from the University of Cambridge believes it has found evidence of 20,000-year-old hut structures in the Jordanian deserts. The research, which has been published in the journal PLoS One states that the team has recovered hundreds of thousands of stone tools, animal bones and other finds from the site, which today appears as little more than a three metre-high mound in the desert landscape. So far, two huts have been excavated but it is believed that more could be hidden beneath the sands. Dr Tobias Richter from the University of Copenhagen and one of the project’s co-directors commented that the huts had been dug into the ground and are between two and three metres in length. Intentionally burnt piles of gazelle horn cores, clumps of red ochre pigment and a cache of hundreds of pierced marine shells were also discovered inside the huts.