How to Perform Acoustic Measurements At the Finnish Rock Painting Sites: A Multimedia Guide

Research output: Other contribution


Since 2013, the archaeoacoustic team of the University of Helsinki has been exploring acoustic properties of rock painting sites in Finland, ritual places of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. The rock paintings, comprising figures of elks, boats and humans, sometimes holding drums, are typically situated on vertical highly-reflective cliffs that generate echoes and other startling acoustic effects. As these cliffs rise directly from lakes or rivers, the ritual activities, such as painting, sacrificing or drumming, were probably performed from a boat, some type of dugout or canoe.

To study the acoustics of these hardly accessible, rugged places, new field recording and audio analysis methods have been developed by our archaeoacoustic team. The primary analysis method is multichannel impulse response measurement using custom-built recording equipment tailored to the field conditions at Finnish rock paintings. The in situ measurement data is post-processed with custom-written signal analysis software. This educational audiovisual material shows step by step, how the fieldwork and the acoustic measurements of our project are carried out in practice. Full reports of the methods have been published in earlier research articles. The equipment featured in the videos has been acquired between 2013 and 2019 for the project and entrusted to the University of Helsinki Music Research Laboratory. The videos were shot during the field season 2020 with the Canon Legria HF G26 camera.
Original languageEnglish
Publication Year24 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

NameTaiteiden tutkimuksen risteysasema - Taituri
PublisherHelsingin yliopisto/Humanistinen tiedekunta

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • arkeoakustiikka

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