The Maya Civilization and Their Use of Architecture for Sound Manipulation

National Geographic has published a very interesting article about Maya temples and how its acoustic characteristics of affect the sound played there.

Centuries before the first speakers and subwoofers, ancient Americans—intentionally or not—may have been turning buildings into giant sound amplifiers and distorters to enthrall or disorient audiences, archaeologists say.

Temples at the ancient Maya city of Palenque (map) in central Mexico, for example, might have formed a kind of “unplugged” public-address system, projecting sound across great distances, according to a team led by archaeologist Francisca Zalaquett of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. (See an interactive map of the Maya civilization.)

Zalaquett’s team recently discovered that Palenque’s Northern Group of public squares and temples—built around roughly A.D. 600—is especially good at projecting the human voice as well as sounds like those that would have been made by musical instruments found at the site.

Continue reading: Ancient Maya Temples Were Giant Loudspeakers?

Thanks to Eric Norris for the link!