BU’s Professor of Archaeology Tim Darvill OBE has been speaking to the UK and international press about whether the stones used for Stonehenge were picked because of their sound quality.
The interview was initially part of a feature for BBC South’s Inside Out, which looked at a recently developed theory suggesting the Bluestones trasnported from Wales were chosen for their resonant sound qualities – which means certain parts of the rocks make a ringing sound when struck.
Professor Darvill, who is one of the world’s leading experts on Stonehenge, said: “We don’t, of course, know that they moved them because they rang. What we can say though is that prehistoric attitudes to stone must have been very different to the attitudes we have today.
“We often think of stone as something very permanent, very long-term, very inert, but we talk about – in a strange way – the living rock. We talk about stone as if it’s got a life to it, it’s got a presence to the landscape that is a little bit more than just a rock.”
The BBC’s Jon Cuthill joined Professor Darvill and other researchers, as they tested the rocks at Stonehenge to see if they had the same resonant qualities as the ones found in Wales.
“Ringing rocks are a prominent part of many cultures,” added Professor Darvill. “You can almost see them as a prehistoric glockenspiel, if you like, and you could knock them and hear these tunes. The soundscapes of prehistory are something that we are really just starting to explore.”
The research and Professor Darvill’s thoughts were also featured in articles in The Independent, regional press in New Zealand, Belfast and Germany among others.
Watch the Inside Out programme in full (available for seven days)