3000-year-old conch trumpets played eerie notesPublished On: Sun, Nov 21st, 2010 | Science | By BioNews
Acoustic scientists have put their lips to ancient, ornately decorated conch-shell ‘trumpets’ to recreate sounds from a pre-Incan Peruvian civilization.
The researchers using 3,000-year-old shells discovered at a pre-Inca religious site say the powerfully haunting and droning music could have been used in religious ceremonies.
“You can really feel it in your chest. It has a rough texture like a tonal animal roar,” Science News quoted Jonathan Abel, an acoustics expert at Stanford University, as saying.
Archaeologists found 20 complete Strombus galeatus marine shell trumpets in 2001 at Chavin de Huantar, an ancient ceremonial center in the Andes.
The shells were polished, painted and etched with symbols.
Like a bugle, each shell instrument could only sound one or two tones, but like on a French horn, the player could change the pitch by placing his hand into the shell, the researchers say.
The researchers reported their analysis at the Second Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics in Cancun, Mexico. (ANI)