Chavin

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('''Phase 1. Preparation and Onsite Measurements ''')
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'''Overview'''
'''Overview'''
-
Chavín de Huántar is a monumental World Heritage archaeological site [http://www.globalheritagefund.org/where/chavin.html] in the Peruvian highlands predating Inca society by over 2000 years. Since 1995 Professor John Rick of Stanford University and teams have been excavating the site [http://www.stanford.edu/~johnrick/chavin_wrap/index.html], revealing peculiar and unique architectural features in both surface and underground structures. It is the underground structures, a complex of labyrinthine galleries and corridors, that are of particular interest to this project, because explanations for their purpose and function have led to Rick’s hypothesis that they were constructed, at enormous cost in labor, to establish social hierarchy through sensory manipulation in the context of religious ritual: a priest-elite over the novitiates.
+
A collaboration between members of the archaeology and music departments at Stanford, this
 +
project seeks to explore the acoustic significance of the architecture and instruments of Chavín de Huántar, a monumental World Heritage archaeological site [http://www.globalheritagefund.org/where/chavin.html] in the Peruvian highlands predating Inca society by over 2000 years. Measurement and analysis of site and instrument acoustics will provide data for computational physical models that will be used to generate public interfaces,  
 +
and academic and creative work.  
-
In 2001 Rick discovered in one of the galleries twenty engraved ceremonial Strombus (conch)  
+
Since 1995 Professor John Rick and Stanford teams have been excavating the site [http://www.stanford.edu/~johnrick/chavin_wrap/index.html], revealing
-
trumpets, some of which showed (through wear) use over several centuries. This important
+
unique architectural features in both surface and underground structures. It is the underground
-
discovery reinforced his hypothesis that the acoustic properties of the underground part of the site  
+
structures, a complex of labyrinthine galleries, corridors, shafts and drains, that are of particular
-
were fundamental to the ancient ritual and perhaps even a determinant in architectural layout and  
+
interest to this project, because explanations for their purpose and function have led to Rick’s
-
design. One of the important (and enticing) questions is whether there is an acoustical
+
hypothesis that they were constructed, at enormous cost in labor, to establish social hierarchy
-
relationship between the Strombus trumpets and the dimensions and layout of the underground
+
through sensory manipulation in the context of religious ritual: a priest-elite over the novitiates. 
-
galleries. That is, are the acoustic properties of the Strombus trumpets in any way coupled to the  
+
Also, most of the underground galleries are original – all four walls, ceiling, and floor are still
-
resonant frequencies and temporal features of the galleries and corridors? Finding an answer to  
+
present and complete – an unusually intact condition for ancient architecture.
-
this question will provide Rick with data to further elaborate and refine his hypothesis regarding
+
 
-
the importance of sensory manipulation in Chavín ritual.  
+
In 2001, twenty intact engraved, identically prepared Strombus (conch) shell trumpets were
 +
discovered by Rick in a gallery at Chavín, reinforcing his hypothesis that the acoustic properties  
 +
of the site were fundamental to ancient ritual and perhaps even a determinant in architectural  
 +
layout and design. What are the sonic characteristics of these trumpets and architectural
 +
structures? What can be determined regarding the relationship between the Strombus trumpets  
 +
and the acoustic features of the site? Is there evidence of intentional acoustic design in Chavín
 +
architecture, and what would it imply for ancient cultural abilities and political strategies? 
 +
Acoustic measurements, analysis, and models will help answer such questions, providing Rick
 +
with data to elaborate and refine his hypothesis regarding the importance of sensory manipulation
 +
in Chavín ritual.  
 +
 
 +
Since an important area of research at CCRMA is computational physical modeling of acoustic
 +
sources and reverberant spaces, we saw the opportunity to join two disciplines with the purpose
 +
of extending Rick’s team’s mappings and CAD renderings of Chavín to include computer
 +
simulation of site acoustics, using recorded excitation sources such as Strombus trumpets, rushing
 +
water through canals, and human voice. Chavín de Huántar presents intact enclosures primarily
 +
without post-period modification; thus, acoustic measurements can be made throughout the site
 +
that reflect original conditions. Such an opportunity to research and archive unmodified ancient
 +
architectural structures is rare and timely: Chavín de Huántar is an important tourist attraction,
 +
and upcoming required site conservation work will inevitably cause irreversible alteration of its
 +
acoustics. It is therefore imperative that onsite measurements be made soon, precisely, and
 +
thoroughly. Given adequate funding, our team will be able to do this field work in summer 2008.
 +
 +
 +
'''Schedule/Planning'''
 +
 +
Our project is divided into three phases as noted in the timeline below. Phase 1, in progress since autumn 2007, has
 +
involved planning, data collection, analysis, and work on an invited paper to be presented at
 +
Acoustics08 in Paris this July; given adequate funding, Phase 1 will culminate with field work in
 +
Peru to generate a comprehensive acoustic analysis of the site, its materials and musical
 +
instruments. The academic and creative work of Phases 2 and 3 will not be possible without this
 +
data collection. The models developed in Phase 2 will provide a rich research base with which to  
 +
simulate and evaluate a variety of acoustic conditions, architectural geometries, source
 +
placements and listening positions. In order to provide a public interface during Phases 1 and 2, a
 +
website chronicling the developing work and ideas using sounds and images will be constructed
 +
and maintained. Phase 3 will be a site-independent simulation to reconstruct the auditory-visual
 +
experience of the original galleries, exhibited at Stanford and potentially also in the Chavín  
 +
museum in Peru. Additional creative projects are anticipated; for instance, it is likely that an
 +
Earth Sciences component will be added to help characterize and determine the presence of wall
 +
plastering within galleries. We would like to develop and/or consider other opportunities for
 +
engaging the Stanford community with our work in progress.  
   
   
-
Since an important area of research at CCRMA is physical modeling of acoustic sources and
 
-
reverberant spaces, we saw the opportunity to join two disciplines with the purpose of extending
 
-
Rick’s three-dimensional measurements and CAD renderings of the site to include physical
 
-
models of the site’s acoustics, with excitation sources such as Strombus trumpets, rushing water
 
-
through canals both above and beneath galleries, and the human voice. Acoustic measurements
 
-
and models of a site can be used to archive site acoustics, estimate the acoustics of inaccessible or
 
-
alternative site architectures, and reconstruct original site acoustics; they may also be used to
 
-
corroborate aspects of rituals suggested by other archaeological data. Measurement and modeling
 
-
may be used to understand the implications of auditory experiences within these galleries as
 
-
related to the role of the site in developing religious authority.
 
   
   
-
It is notable that because Chavín de Huántar presents intact enclosures primarily without post-
+
'''Timeline'''
-
period modification, acoustic measurements can be made throughout much of the site that closely
+
-
reflect period conditions. Such an opportunity to archive relatively unmodified ancient
+
-
architectural structures is rare. However, this opportunity may soon be altered: Chavín de Huántar
+
-
is an important touristic attraction; thus the Peruvian government must make the underground
+
-
galleries safe for visitors, adding reinforcing structures that will irreversibly alter the acoustics. It
+
-
is therefore imperative that onsite measurements be made soon, precisely, and thoroughly.
+
   
   
-
The project is divided into three phases as shown below. Phase 3 represents the ultimate goal: a complete and  
+
  Phase 1: Preparation and Onsite Measurements (work in progress since autumn ‘07)
-
site-independent virtual simulation over multiple loudspeakers, produced using a computer-based
+
  Phase 2: Analysis and Generation of Computational Physical Model  (projected autumn ’08-’09) 
-
model of the acoustics of the underground galleries and above-ground plazas. These acoustic
+
  Phase 3: Electroacoustic Simulation and Public Interface (projected ’09-‘10)
-
models will provide a rich research base with which to evaluate a variety of acoustic conditions,
+
-
architectural geometries, source placements and listening positions within the galleries. Such a
+
-
simulation can also be exhibited as an installation/virtual walkthrough, at both the Chavín
+
-
museum in Peru, and at Stanford, reconstructing an auditory-visual experience of the original
+
-
galleries.
+
-
=== '''Team Information''' ===
+
'''Team Information'''
'''Co-investigators:'''
'''Co-investigators:'''
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* Data analysis for Acoustics'08 invited paper [ongoing]
* Data analysis for Acoustics'08 invited paper [ongoing]
-
'''Simulation Trials in local environments'''
+
'''Simulation Trials in Stanford environments'''
* CCRMA stairwell, hallways, “Pit”
* CCRMA stairwell, hallways, “Pit”
* SU subsurface spaces-“famous” steam tunnels
* SU subsurface spaces-“famous” steam tunnels
* Outdoor space similar to Chavín Circular Plaza?
* Outdoor space similar to Chavín Circular Plaza?
-
'''Specify Provisional Mapping (for sound source-receiver placements from CAD rendering) [in progress; 1-?/08] '''  
+
'''Specify Provisional Mapping (for sound source-receiver placements from CAD rendering) [in progress] '''  
* from each chamber to main space
* from each chamber to main space
* least damaged areas
* least damaged areas
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* peculiar geometries (e.g. , adjoining (comb-like) chambers, etc.)  
* peculiar geometries (e.g. , adjoining (comb-like) chambers, etc.)  
-
'''Onsite Measurements at Chavín'''
+
'''Onsite Measurements at Chavín [projected summer '08] '''  
* Plastering of section of Chavín (selection of plastered sections is critical (soon after arrival to allow for drying)
* Plastering of section of Chavín (selection of plastered sections is critical (soon after arrival to allow for drying)
* Adjust mapping of source-receiver points  
* Adjust mapping of source-receiver points  
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* strombus trumpet live/recorded
* strombus trumpet live/recorded
* record stream/water sound, wind noise
* record stream/water sound, wind noise
 +
* live/recorded human voice
'''Measurements -- Receivers'''
'''Measurements -- Receivers'''
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'''Costs'''
'''Costs'''
-
* $3,000 (2/08) equipment; SICA grant
+
* $3,000 (2/08) equipment; [http://sica.stanford.edu/ SICA] grant
* $13,500 (summer 2008) equipment, data collection costs, logistical support [estimated; final costs TBD]
* $13,500 (summer 2008) equipment, data collection costs, logistical support [estimated; final costs TBD]
* $8,000 travel and accommodations (2 weeks on site) for 3 faculty, 2 graduate students
* $8,000 travel and accommodations (2 weeks on site) for 3 faculty, 2 graduate students
-
* $500 on site wall-building, plastering, and removal (summer 2008)
+
* $500 (summer 2008) on site wall-building, plastering, and removal  
'''Potential Sources of Funding'''
'''Potential Sources of Funding'''
Line 121: Line 143:
* Presentation in Paris, June-July 2008
* Presentation in Paris, June-July 2008
-
=== '''Phase 2.  Analysis and Generation of Physical Model ''' ===
+
=== '''Phase 2.  Analysis and Generation of Computational Physical Model ''' ===
'''Analysis'''
'''Analysis'''
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'''Locations'''
'''Locations'''
* Stanford
* Stanford
-
* Chavín Museum
+
* National Museum of Chavín
-
* National Museum, Peru
+
'''Public Interfaces'''
'''Public Interfaces'''
 +
* Work-in-progress documentation website
* Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in present condition
* Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in present condition
* Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in reconstructed condition
* Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in reconstructed condition

Revision as of 11:15, 4 April 2008

Contents

Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project

Acoustic Measurement, Archiving, Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation/Installation

Overview

A collaboration between members of the archaeology and music departments at Stanford, this project seeks to explore the acoustic significance of the architecture and instruments of Chavín de Huántar, a monumental World Heritage archaeological site [1] in the Peruvian highlands predating Inca society by over 2000 years. Measurement and analysis of site and instrument acoustics will provide data for computational physical models that will be used to generate public interfaces, and academic and creative work.

Since 1995 Professor John Rick and Stanford teams have been excavating the site [2], revealing unique architectural features in both surface and underground structures. It is the underground structures, a complex of labyrinthine galleries, corridors, shafts and drains, that are of particular interest to this project, because explanations for their purpose and function have led to Rick’s hypothesis that they were constructed, at enormous cost in labor, to establish social hierarchy through sensory manipulation in the context of religious ritual: a priest-elite over the novitiates. Also, most of the underground galleries are original – all four walls, ceiling, and floor are still present and complete – an unusually intact condition for ancient architecture.

In 2001, twenty intact engraved, identically prepared Strombus (conch) shell trumpets were discovered by Rick in a gallery at Chavín, reinforcing his hypothesis that the acoustic properties of the site were fundamental to ancient ritual and perhaps even a determinant in architectural layout and design. What are the sonic characteristics of these trumpets and architectural structures? What can be determined regarding the relationship between the Strombus trumpets and the acoustic features of the site? Is there evidence of intentional acoustic design in Chavín architecture, and what would it imply for ancient cultural abilities and political strategies? Acoustic measurements, analysis, and models will help answer such questions, providing Rick with data to elaborate and refine his hypothesis regarding the importance of sensory manipulation in Chavín ritual.

Since an important area of research at CCRMA is computational physical modeling of acoustic sources and reverberant spaces, we saw the opportunity to join two disciplines with the purpose of extending Rick’s team’s mappings and CAD renderings of Chavín to include computer simulation of site acoustics, using recorded excitation sources such as Strombus trumpets, rushing water through canals, and human voice. Chavín de Huántar presents intact enclosures primarily without post-period modification; thus, acoustic measurements can be made throughout the site that reflect original conditions. Such an opportunity to research and archive unmodified ancient architectural structures is rare and timely: Chavín de Huántar is an important tourist attraction, and upcoming required site conservation work will inevitably cause irreversible alteration of its acoustics. It is therefore imperative that onsite measurements be made soon, precisely, and thoroughly. Given adequate funding, our team will be able to do this field work in summer 2008.


Schedule/Planning

Our project is divided into three phases as noted in the timeline below. Phase 1, in progress since autumn 2007, has involved planning, data collection, analysis, and work on an invited paper to be presented at Acoustics08 in Paris this July; given adequate funding, Phase 1 will culminate with field work in Peru to generate a comprehensive acoustic analysis of the site, its materials and musical instruments. The academic and creative work of Phases 2 and 3 will not be possible without this data collection. The models developed in Phase 2 will provide a rich research base with which to simulate and evaluate a variety of acoustic conditions, architectural geometries, source placements and listening positions. In order to provide a public interface during Phases 1 and 2, a website chronicling the developing work and ideas using sounds and images will be constructed and maintained. Phase 3 will be a site-independent simulation to reconstruct the auditory-visual experience of the original galleries, exhibited at Stanford and potentially also in the Chavín museum in Peru. Additional creative projects are anticipated; for instance, it is likely that an Earth Sciences component will be added to help characterize and determine the presence of wall plastering within galleries. We would like to develop and/or consider other opportunities for engaging the Stanford community with our work in progress.


Timeline

 Phase 1: Preparation and Onsite Measurements (work in progress since autumn ‘07) 
 Phase 2: Analysis and Generation of Computational Physical Model  (projected autumn ’08-’09)  
 Phase 3: Electroacoustic Simulation and Public Interface (projected ’09-‘10) 


Team Information

Co-investigators:

  • John Rick, PhD, Professor, Stanford University, Archaeology/Anthropology
  • Julius O. Smith, PhD, Professor, Stanford University, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)/Electrical Engineering (by courtesy)
  • Jonathan S. Abel, PhD, Consulting Professor, Stanford University, CCRMA
  • Patty Huang, MA, PhD Candidate, Stanford University, CCRMA
  • Miriam Kolar, MFA, PhD Candidate, Stanford University, CCRMA

Coordinator:

  • John Chowning, DMA, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, CCRMA/Music

Local Collaborators:

  • Christian Mesia, Ph.D, Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Lima

Team Background:

  • John Rick has been heading excavations and directing research at the Chavín site since 1995
  • Digital waveguide techniques were pioneered at CCRMA by Julius O. Smith III
  • Julius O. Smith and Jonathan S. Abel have been working together on acoustic array processing and related problems since 1985
  • Patty Huang is a PhD student working under Abel on physical modeling and analysis of reverberant spaces
  • Miriam Kolar is a PhD student with extensive field experience in recording engineering
  • John Chowning is a composer having long standing interest in spatial modeling
  • CCRMA has expertise in field measurements, psychoacoustics, digital signal processing, and artificial reverberation

Phase 1. Preparation and Onsite Measurements

Preparation

  • Preliminary on-site tests [completed 12/07]
  • Preliminary on-site tests [completed 2/08]
  • Specification of equipment [ongoing; 1-2/08]
  • Purchasing and assembly of gear [2/08 & ongoing]
  • Data analysis for Acoustics'08 invited paper [ongoing]

Simulation Trials in Stanford environments

  • CCRMA stairwell, hallways, “Pit”
  • SU subsurface spaces-“famous” steam tunnels
  • Outdoor space similar to Chavín Circular Plaza?

Specify Provisional Mapping (for sound source-receiver placements from CAD rendering) [in progress]

  • from each chamber to main space
  • least damaged areas
  • with and without plastering
  • peculiar geometries (e.g. , adjoining (comb-like) chambers, etc.)

Onsite Measurements at Chavín [projected summer '08]

  • Plastering of section of Chavín (selection of plastered sections is critical (soon after arrival to allow for drying)
  • Adjust mapping of source-receiver points

Measurements -- Sources

  • balloon pops
  • speaker-generated sinusoidal chirps
  • other signals
  • strombus trumpet live/recorded
  • record stream/water sound, wind noise
  • live/recorded human voice

Measurements -- Receivers

  • distributed mics
  • in-ear-canal mics

Costs

  • $3,000 (2/08) equipment; SICA grant
  • $13,500 (summer 2008) equipment, data collection costs, logistical support [estimated; final costs TBD]
  • $8,000 travel and accommodations (2 weeks on site) for 3 faculty, 2 graduate students
  • $500 (summer 2008) on site wall-building, plastering, and removal

Potential Sources of Funding

  • Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts (SICA) [3]
  • National Geographic [4]

Equipment Loan

  • Sennheiser Research Lab

Acoustics'08 Paper [5]

  • Presentation in Paris, June-July 2008

Phase 2. Analysis and Generation of Computational Physical Model

Analysis

  • compare plastered and unplastered and extrapolate to the entire structure
  • IR measurement to render the modeled spaces
  • measurement processing to model the pristine state
  • Strombus trumpet

Physical Model

  • calculate acoustical properties of materials
  • rendering from architectural models
  • use waveguide mesh processing
  • Stanford invention of and current work with waveguide mesh allows effective method to address computation/simulation of acoustical spaces
  • process and match/fit measurements then extend to parts of site that aren't necessarily intact or accessible for comprehensive measurements (plastering).

Potential Funding Sources

  • National Endowment for the Humanities- Collaborative Research Grants [6]
  • National Science Foundation- Archaeology and Archaeometry [7]

Phase 3. Electroacoustic Simulation & Public Interface

Locations

  • Stanford
  • National Museum of Chavín

Public Interfaces

  • Work-in-progress documentation website
  • Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in present condition
  • Virtual walkthrough (headphone tour) in reconstructed condition
  • Enhanced reverberation system for visitor experience
  • Installations of replica in various formats (online, DVD, museum, show, etc.)

Conservation & Reconstruction

  • Quantify and compensate for support structures
  • Simulation of plastered walls
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